Test a diverse range of patients for HIV

6 June 2019

Latest NSW data shows the lowest annual number of HIV infections in 2018 since records began. However, a small cluster of HIV infections has been observed among patients not typically seen as being at risk of HIV. These recent infections show a need for health professionals to increase HIV testing among heterosexual men who have sex with men and men having sex overseas. These men may not see themselves at risk of HIV, some may lead secretive/hidden lives and may not feel comfortable asking for a HIV test.

HIV infections are also recorded among men having sex in countries with high HIV prevalence among the general population or in certain groups e.g. sex workers, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs. This includes men born overseas and Australian born men. 

During HIV Testing Week (01 – 07 June), NSW Health encourages health professionals to offer testing to a diverse range of patients at risk of HIV.

It is important to test anyone who asks for a HIV test regardless of their HIV risk profile. For some patients the behaviours that put them at risk of HIV may be hidden and private, and therefore may not feel comfortable disclosing these risks during a consultation.

Resources to help you test:

NSW Health provides resources and support to make HIV testing easier than ever.
Remember, the NSW HIV Support Program and NSW Sexual Health Infolink are there to support GPs and patients when a diagnosis is made.