HIV diagnosis rates for straight men in WA now greater than for gay men
Despite HIV rates declining nationally for more than a decade, the
number of straight men contracting the sexually transmitted virus is on
In Western Australia this year more straight men were diagnosed with HIV
than gay men. It is the first time that has happened since the AIDS crisis
began in the 1980s.
Among men who have sex with men in WA, the number of people diagnosed with
HIV was 51 per cent lower this year compared to the average over the previous
But among heterosexual men it was 21 per cent higher, with 26 cases detected
in the past 12 months, prompting the WA Health Department to launch a
targeted awareness and education campaign.
Almost all of those men are aged over 40, were born in Australia and picked
up the virus having unprotected sex with women overseas, most commonly in
"These are middle-aged men, anywhere from their late 30s through to their
middle-age, to older men, who have sexual partners overseas, who don't practice
safe sex, they may even have partners they are returning to regularly and don't
see the need for using condoms.
WA refers to Western Australia.