Country progress report New Zealand (HIV/AIDS) 2012–13

14 Jul 2014

A report to the United Nations about New Zealand's progress against HIV/AIDs for the period January 2012–December 2013.

Status of the epidemic

  • In New Zealand, the early epidemic of HIV infection and AIDS was highly concentrated among men who had sex with men (MSM). The number of MSM diagnosed with HIV is still higher than the number diagnosed with heterosexually acquired HIV.
  • In the late 1990s a low and stable number of MSM were diagnosed annually with HIV. This number rose between 2001 and 2005, mainly due to a steady increase in the number infected in New Zealand.
  • Between the early 2000’s and 2006 the number of people diagnosed with heterosexually-acquired HIV rose mainly due to an increase in people infected overseas. Since the peak in 2006, the annual number of heterosexually acquired infections has dropped, due to fewer people being infected overseas. The number of people diagnosed with HIV that was heterosexually acquired in New Zealand remains low but has risen gradually since the mid-1990s and in 2013 was only slightly lower than the number infected overseas.
  • Of those diagnosed with HIV in New Zealand from 1985 to 2013, 1.7 percent (N=69) were under the age of 15 years, and 9.2 percent (N= 363) were aged between15 and 24 years at the time of diagnosis.
  • Among those diagnosed with HIV, for whom information on the initial CD4 count was obtained, just under half (48%) of those diagnosed between 2005-2013 presented when the CD4 count was 350 cell per cubic mm or less, the level at which treatment is recommended.
  • Most of the people who are now diagnosed with AIDS in New Zealand have only recently been diagnosed with HIV and as a result have not previously been on antiretroviral treatment.
  • Based on the number of people on subsidised antiretroviral therapy (ARTs) (1800 at the end of 2013), and the assumptions that (a) 80% people with HIV have been diagnosed and are under specialist care and (b) 80% of people with HIV under specialist care are on ART, there are estimated to be around 2800 people with HIV in New Zealand. This equates to a prevalence of 62 per 100,000 total population
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