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Rise in annual HIV diagnoses continues

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 4th June 2015

12.01am: The annual number of gay and bi men newly diagnosed in New Zealand with HIV has risen to the highest level since the HIV epidemic began, according to the latest available figures, for 2014, just released.

Annual NZ HIV diagnoses 1985 - 2014 (Gay and bi men indicated in red).
A total of 136 men who have sex with men (MSM) were newly diagnosed as having HIV last year compared with 100 in 2013.

Read more:
HIV and syphilis risk high, say experts

NZAF: Several factors may be behind HIV rise

However, the increase may be to some degree be driven by cases of HIV infection contracted overseas rather than in this country. Of the 136 MSM diagnosed last year 86 were infected in New Zealand, compared with 69 in 2013.

Although some of the 50 overseas-contracted HIV cases may relate to New Zealand residents who were temporarily overseas it is also possible the cases are from amongst recent immigrants or overseas nationals in this country for work or study periods.

And an increase in the numbers of MSM being tested for HIV since the introduction and promotion of faster and more accessible testing procedures could also be a factor.

As can be seen in the red shaded parts of the bars in the graph above, the figures released today fit a recent pattern of annual increases in new diagnoses amongst men who have sex with men (MSM) evident since 2012.

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