Chapter 12 – Sexually Transmissible Infections (STIs)

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the causative agent of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The most common mode of transmission of HIV worldwide is by vaginal intercourse. It is also transmitted by anal sex, infected blood or blood products, donated organs, use of contaminated needles and vertically from mother to child primarily at birth and via breast milk.(49)

Transmission of HIV in Australia has been and continues to be mainly through sex between men (63 per cent of diagnoses of newly acquired HIV infection 2017). In the last 5 years, there has been a decline in the rates of new diagnoses of HIV infections, mainly due to decreasing notifications in MSM. In 2017 there were 963 HIV notifications in Australia, the lowest number since 2010.(50) While transmission of HIV continues to occur primarily amongst MSM, certain sub-populations have not seen this fall in acquisition rates (including bisexual men, Asian-born MSM and indigenous Australians), and require further attention.(50, 51)

Reductions in vertical transmission rates have been noted as well. In 2013-2017, among the 191 babies born in Australia to women with HIV, 1% of newborns were diagnosed with HIV, compared with 27% between 1993 -1997. ... Buy now


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