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Australia HIV & AIDS Statistics
As of December 2011 an estimated 24,731 people were living with an HIV diagnosis in Australia.1
Estimated* HIV and AIDS diagnoses by year
|1987 and earlier||6,846||236||7,116||762||35||797|
* HIV data are adjusted for multiple reporting.
** Numbers may not sum to total due to rounding errors, people whose sex was reported as transgender, and diagnoses in more than one state or territory.
***AIDS diagnoses in New South Wales in 2008 are not included. Includes 36 people whose sex was reported as transgender.
The annual number of HIV diagnoses in Australia peaked in 1987. There followed twelve years of decline, after which the rate of diagnoses grew again to reach 1,136 in 2011 (after adjusting for multiple reporting).3
The annual number of AIDS diagnoses in Australia peaked in 1994 at 953 cases, and then declined rapidly to 216 in 1999. The fall since 1996 was largely due to the introduction of effective combination antiretroviral therapy, which delays progression from HIV infection to AIDS.
HIV transmission in Australia occurs primarily through sexual contact between men. Around 66% of people newly diagnosed with HIV in 2011 were among men who have sex with men; 25% were exposed through heterosexual contact; 3% were due to injecting drug use; and a further 3% were men with a history of both injecting drug use and sex with other men.4
HIV and AIDS cases by state/territory, cumulative until end December 2011
|Australian Capital Territory||302||40||342||95||10||105|
|New South Wales||15,191||1,075||16,528||5,672||289||5,980|
* Numbers may not sum to total due to rounding errors, people whose sex was reported as transgender, and diagnoses in more than one state or territory.
Relative to population size, New South Wales has had by far the highest rate of HIV diagnoses. Victoria has had the second highest rate, followed by Capital Territory, Northern Territory and Queensland.
Ethnicity and country of origin
Overall rates of HIV and AIDS diagnoses per capita have differed little between indigenous and non-indigenous people. However, there are significant differences in transmission routes.
The most recent data shows among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people diagnosed with HIV between 2005 and 2011, sex between men was the reported source of exposure to HIV in 51% of the population (compared to 72% in the non-Indigenous population). Heterosexual contact was the reported transmission route for 17% of cases in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population (compared to 16% in the non-Indigenous population). The number of cases attributable to injecting drug use was higher among the Indigenous population (17%) than the non-Indigenous (2%). Women accounted for 21% of total HIV infections among the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.5
People born in Australia accounted for 55% of HIV diagnoses in the period 2007-2011.
AIDS cases and deaths following AIDS, by sex and age, cumulative until end December 2011
* Includes people whose sex was reported as transgender
In Australia, further evidence of the benefits of improved therapy has come from the substantial improvement in length of life following the diagnosis of AIDS. Median survival time has increased from 19 months for cases diagnosed prior to 1998 to 69 months for cases diagnosed in 2002.
- 1. Kirby Institute (2012) 'Australian Annual Surveillance Report- HIV, viral Hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia'
- 2. Kirby Institute (2012, April) 'Australian HIV Surveillance Report, Quarterly'
- 3. Kirby Institute (2012) 'Australian Annual Surveillance Report - HIV, viral Hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia'
- 4. Kirby Institute (2012) 'Australian Annual Surveillance Report - HIV, viral Hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia'
- 5. Kirby Institute (2012) 'Australian Annual Surveillance Report - HIV, viral Hepatitis and sexally transmissible infections in Australia'