What has been done to address HIV AIDS in Australia

Essay by lollypopgeorgeCollege, UndergraduateB+, August 2007

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Since Human Immunodeficiency Virus - Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV-AIDS) was first recorded in Australia in the late 1980's there have been several public health strategies which have been used to address HIV-AIDS. These strategies have been put in place by the Australian Governments in conjunction with Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) and have included sex education programs through media and community health services as well as schools they have largely promoted condom use as the best form of HIV prevention. Also the introduction of safe injection facilities and improved screening of blood tissue and uterus' have contributed to the decrease in AIDS incidence and prevalence in Australia over the last 20 years.

Sexual contact is the main cause of HIV transmission in Australia, with heterosexual contact making up 21.9% of transmissions in 2002 (Australian Bureau of Statistics - ABS, 2007) and homosexual contact making up 70.6% of transmission in the same year (ABS, 2007).

In order to decrease these figures sexual education on the benefits of consistent condom use have been spread through communities via sex education programs and by health centres (AFAO, 2005a). Studies (Davis-Batey & Weller, 2001; and Pinkerton & Ambramson, 1997) have found that in a homosexual or heterosexual relationship where one partner is HIV positive consistent condom use can reduce HIV incidence by over 80%. It is believed that increased condom use has led to the decrease in heterosexual HIV transmission over the last 20 years to 19% in 2005(ABS, 2007). However, several issues have been raised with the results of these studies. There is no report on the 'correctness' of the condom use, for example if it was put on correctly every single time (Davis-Batey & Weller, 2001) or if it was used for each and every single act of intercourse(Pinkerton & Ambramson, 1997).