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HIV. What are the real risks in New Zealand?

HIV. What are the real risks in New Zealand?

hiv hiv risks new zealand nz

Whilst NZ has a relatively low rate of HIV infection compared to other developed countries the risk of HIV infection is still a real one, especially in certain groups. Gay and bisexual men are the most at risk of HIV infection within New Zealand. It is estimated that 1 in 15 gay or bi men within NZ is currently HIV positive and that approximately 20% of those infected are unaware of their status. Given that it may be months or even years before individuals become aware of their HIV status as they have had no reason to be tested or have put off HIV testing, this 20% actually seems like a fairly low number. Anal sex is a particularly high-risk practice in terms of HIV infection as the cells within the anus are more easily infected than those within the vagina. But remember, unprotected vaginal intercourse is still considered to be a high-risk practise for HIV infection but anal sex is seen as approximately 18 times more likely to result in HIV transmission between a new partner and one that is HIV infected. NZ HIV infection rates among gay or bi men hit an alarming high in 2016 which is now seeing a marked decline. More testing and better awareness are the primary weapons against HIV so it is hoped this declining trend continues.

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