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Australia HIV & AIDS Statistics

Introduction

As of December 2011 an estimated 24,731 people were living with an HIV diagnosis in Australia.1 

From the start of the epidemic until the end of 2011, there have been 31,645 diagnoses of HIV and 10,796 diagnoses of AIDS. Australia has recorded 6,843 AIDS deaths.2

Estimated* HIV and AIDS diagnoses by year

Year HIV AIDS
Male Female Total** Male Female Total**
1987 and earlier 6,846 236 7,116 762 35 797
1988 1,221 73 1,297 520 15 536
1989 1,295 74 1,371 599 13 614
1990 1,283 85 1,276 655 17 674
1991 1,078 80 1,162 775 26 804
1992 1,051 88 1,140 752 37 791
1993 912 67 986 799 41 845
1994 839 85 926 904 45 953
1995 818 71 890 773 35 811
1996 811 74 887 637 33 670
1997 637 83 721 362 32 395
1998 550 94 645 305 24 329
1999 643 73 718 193 23 216
2000 677 86 763 241 25 265
2001 677 96 775 189 23 213
2002 759 89 853 224 20 246
2003 785 86 874 227 17 245
2004 784 125 911 178 22 202
2005 868 93 962 206 28 234
2006 859 146 1,008 198 21 222
2007 910 137 1,048 144 16 161
2008 864 137 1,001 95 9 104
2009 909 139 1,050 77 3 90
2010 896 150 1,046 112 12 124
2011 994 142 1,136 98 17 115
Total 28,663 2,593 31,645 10,052 597 10,796***

* 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.

Exposure categories

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

State/Territory HIV* AIDS*
Male Female Total Male Female Total
Australian Capital Territory 302 40 342 95 10 105
New South Wales 15,191 1,075 16,528 5,672 289 5,980
Northern Territory 171 32 203 53 6 59
Queensland 3,642 425 4,076 1,116 81 1,199
South Australia 1,153 147 1,301 428 33 462
Tasmania 152 26 178 58 4 62
Victoria 5,944 533 7,131 2,252 124 2,282
Western Australia 1,546 333 1,886 457 51 528
Total 28,708 2,611 31,645 10,149 610 10,796

* 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

Age Cases Deaths
Male Female Total* Male Female Total*
0-12 33 24 57 23 12 35
13-19 28 7 35 15 3 18
20-29 1,497 133 1,646 700 50 761
30-39 4,065 224 4,301 2,495 111 2,615
40-49 2,965 121 3,091 2,101 64 2,167
50-59 1,136 58 1,198 845 37 883
60+ 425 43 468 326 38 364
Total 10,149 610 10,796 6,505 315 6,843

* 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.

Related organisations - Australia and HIV

References

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