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HIV Cases In CQ Health District Increase - Qld Sees Decrease

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New cases of HIV in the Central Queensland Hospital and Health District have increased between 2018 and 2019.  

The Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service saw three people diagnosed with HIV in 2018.  That number rose to five in 2019 according to statistics from Queensland Health.  

Two were confirmed positive in 2017, five in 2016 and four back in 2015.  

Across Queensland, new diagnoses have fallen by 37 per-cent since 2014 according to Queensland Health.  

In 2019, 153 HIV notifications were reported, compared with 245 in 2014.

Cairns Base Hospital sexual health director Darren Russell told News Corp that finding more people with HIV meant they could be treated with anti-viral medication, preventing them from transmitting the virus to others.

“When people take the tablets each day, it means they can’t pass on HIV to anyone else,” Professor Russell told the publication.

He said another reason for the big drop in cases was the development of a drug combination referred to medically as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, used to prevent at-risk Queenslanders from developing HIV.

The medication combo has been subsidised on Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme since April 2018.

HIV infection is treated using Antiretroviral therapy (ART) according to Aids Info.  

People on this treatment take a combination of HIV medicines every day.  Aids Info advises that ART can't cure HIV, but helps people with the virus live longer, healthier lives.

For more information on HIV treatment please click here.  

By Michelle Brewer