How HIV elimination is within Australia’s reach.

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02/01/2022

Australian HIV diagnoses have hit an all-time low, with the country in sight of eliminating transmissions. It’s a legacy of Australia’s early, effective response, reports Gary Nunn from Sydney. During the outbreak in the 1980s, a political friend of then Health Minister Neal Blewett had a word in his ear. “Look mate, there are no votes in collaborating with these [people],” he said. He was referring to gay men, sex workers and people who inject drugs – those heavily impacted by the virus. Australia’s exceptional HIV/Aids response owes much, experts say, to politicians and other powerful decision-makers offering these communities seats at the table. It was an extraordinary “leap of faith”, says author Nick Cook.

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