HIV rates on rise among heterosexuals in Australia

HIV rates among heterosexuals are rising in Australia and almost half of those diagnosed are unaware they have been living with the virus for four or more years.

But health authorities should not return to the “Grim Reaper-style” advertising campaigns of the 1980s, experts say.

Statistics released by the Kirby Institute on Monday showed that despite an overall drop in HIV diagnoses to a seven-year low, there was a 10% rise among heterosexual people over the five years to 2017.

In 48% of those cases, the diagnosis was late, meaning the patient had been living with HIV for four or more years.

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