Positive Life NSW Logo 2021

Media Release

1 June 2022

This HIV Testing Week (1-7 June), Positive Life NSW calls on anyone who is sexually active to get a HIV test and be part of ending HIV transmission by 2025.

“While anyone who is sexually active is at risk for HIV, the virtual elimination of HIV transmission in NSW is now a realistic and achievable goal,” said Ms Jane Costello, Positive Life CEO. “When you know your HIV status, you’re in full control of your own health.”

“Even if you live with HIV, your partners, friends and family can join in and be part of raising awareness that HIV testing is fast and easy with a variety of free and confidential services,” said Mr Andrew Heslop, Positive Life Senior Health Promotions Manager.

“While there has been a drop in the number of people diagnosed with HIV, this decline has also been driven by the effects of COVID-19, including lower levels of testing, and restricted movement affecting health-seeking behaviours,” said Mr Heslop.

“There were 178 new HIV diagnoses from January to December in 2021, 35 of which contracted HIV through heterosexual sex,” said Ms Costello. “Around one in every five people diagnosed with HIV are heterosexual,“ she said.

“Early diagnosis with early treatment means people living with HIV can live long and healthy lives like anyone else in the community.”

You can get a quick HIV test at your GP, or any of the more than 50 NSW Sexual Health Clinics or Aboriginal Medical Services. ATOMO HIV self-test kits are available from your local chemist to test for HIV in the privacy of your own home.

“Within NSW there are also online services such as the free and confidential Dried Blood Spot test or a range of sites that offer rapid testing for men who have sex with men,” said Mr Heslop. “To find out where to get a HIV test, call the NSW Sexual Health Infolink on 1800 451 624.”

During HIV Testing Week (1-7 June), Positive Life NSW along with NSW Health is encouraging heterosexual people, particularly those who’ve never been tested before, to get a HIV test.

This includes people:

  • Who’ve had sex when traveling in a country where HIV is common;
  • Had sex with someone from a country where HIV is common;
  • Who come from a country where HIV is common;
  • Who’ve used injecting equipment after someone else; and
  • NSW Health continues to encourage men who have sex with men to get tested.

Jane Costello, CEO – 1800 245 677 or email communications@positivelife.org.au

Positive Life NSW is the voice of all people living with HIV in NSW since 1988. We are the largest peer-led and run representative body of all people living with HIV in Australia based in NSW. We make a significant contribution to and positive impact across the spectrum of health and social issues on behalf of all people living with HIV in collaboration with HIV specialist and mainstream services to improve the health and quality of life of all people living with HIV in NSW. We do this through evidence based health promotion, research, policy advice and peer support.