Researchers and scientist in Australia have declared that the Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) was no longer a threat to Australia as the number of people being diagnosed with AIDS have rapidly declined over the last few years, in a report released by ABC news.
According to the report released by ABC news, AIDS cases in Australia which saw about 1,000 persons dead in the early 1990s, have plummeted since the advent of anti-retroviral medication in the mid-1990s, which stops HIV from progressing to AIDS – where the immune system is so badly damaged it cannot fight off infection.
Professor Andrew Grulich, head of the HIV Epidemiology and Prevention Program at the Kirby Institute In an interview with ABC said, “These days we don’t even monitor it, it’s a transitory thing for most people; people have AIDS, then they go on treatment and they don’t have AIDS anymore.
“It’s pretty much dealt with as a public health issue.
“The only cases we see of AIDS these days gare people undiagnosed with HIV and so they can’t be treated.”
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infection causes AIDS to develop. However, it is possible to be infected with HIV without developing AIDS. Without treatment, the HIV infection is allowed to progress and eventually it will develop into AIDS in the vast majority of cases.
Don Baxter, an international officer at the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations, who attributed the success of Australia to Government effort said, “We are seeing very few countries actually reducing that rate of infection at this stage, and we don’t see the political will of those governments as we’ve had in Australia.”
According to the report by ABC, Mr Baxter added it was vital Australia continued to support other countries who had not yet beaten the AIDS epidemic.
However, the battle is not yet over as HIV still prevails in the country. The report added that About 1,000 new cases of HIV are reported in Australia each year, and those within the sector worry that young people, who did not witness the horrors of the AIDS epidemic during the 80s and 90s, have become complacent. A major problem indicated in the report is that people do not get tested early, not until the HIV virus has reached an advance stage or developed into AIDS with significant immune damage.