AIDS epidemic no longer a public health issue, scientists say

AIDS epidemic no longer a public health issue, scientists say
# 11 July 2016 08:27 (UTC +04:00)

Australia's peak AIDS organisations and scientists have announced an end to the AIDS epidemic, as the country joins the few nations in the world to have beaten the syndrome, ABC news reported.

At its peak in the early 1990s, about 1,000 Australians died from AIDS each year.

However, Professor Andrew Grulich, head of the HIV Epidemiology and Prevention Program at the Kirby Institute, said the number was now so low, it was not even recorded.

"These days we don't even monitor it, it's a transitory thing for most people; people have AIDS, then they go on treatment and they don't have AIDS anymore," he said.

While the fight against HIV is still ongoing, Professor Grulich said the change to the incidence of AIDS had been "nothing short of miraculous".

"It's pretty much dealt with as a public health issue," he said.

Professor Sharon Lewin, director of the Peter Doherty Institute, said anti-retroviral medications had been game-changers, allowing someone with HIV to live a long and healthy life.

Don Baxter, an international officer at the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations, said it was vital Australia continued to support other countries who had not yet beaten the AIDS epidemic.

On July 18-22, the 21st International AIDS Conference will be held in South Africa.