Australia has recently declared that AIDS/HIV is no longer considered a public health issue because the health officials no longer record the number of AIDS-related deaths as it is too low.
Back in the 1990s, around 1,000 Australian citizens died every year because of AIDS. However, experts underlined that the end of AIDS does not mean that HIV is completely cured.
According to scientists from the Kirby and Peter Doherty Institutes and the Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations, the age of AIDS is finally over, as a low number of deaths is recorded nowadays.
The number of AIDS cases throughout Australia dropped off starting from the mid-1990s, when an anti-retroviral medication improved the medical field, thanks to the fact that it stopped HIV from progressing to AIDS.
People with AIDS enter a state where the immune system is so weak that the body can no longer deal with the infection, so the patient eventually dies.
According to Professor Andrew Gruhlich, director of the HIV Epidemiology and Prevention Program at the Kirby Institute, health officials stopped accounting for the number of people suffering from AIDS, because most of them receive treatment and get rid of the disease.
Even if the battle against this infection is not over, the current situation is more than encouraging.
In other words, it is not regarded as a public health issue anymore. One of HIV survivors, Lloyd Grosse, who is 51 years old, was diagnosed with HIV thirty years ago when the doctors gave him only three more years to live.
He confessed that he would never have thought that he would be able to live with HIV for such a long time.
Back then, Mr. Grosse had a job at the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, which was the Australia’s oldest HIV and AIDS charity, and he had to work with 300 clients who were socially isolated and financially destitute because of the infection.
Nowadays, around 1,000 people get infected every year in Australia.
Doctors worry that the disease might spread in the future among young people, who are oblivious to the risks of this infection, as they do not know the definition of an AIDS epidemic, such as the one between the 80s and 90s.
Experts underline that their biggest concern is that people do not check their health status on a monthly basis. In other words, most of them might be unaware of the fact that they are infected.
Worse, they might eventually find out when is too late, after HIV has progressed to AIDS.
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