Sydney: Experts have called for a new HIV awareness campaign after it was seen that venereal disease among young Australians has skyrocketed.According to federal government figures, the number of chlamydia cases doubled to 60,000 over the four years to 2008, and people aged between 20 and 29 are the group at highest risk.
"I don`t think we need another "Grim Reaper" ad but I think that we do need appropriate, targeted education which targets individual priority populations," Prof Kidd said.Federal parliamentary Secretary for Health Mark Butler officially launched both strategies, saying the government was focused on reducing Australia``s HIV infection rate.About 1000 new HIV cases are detected every year in Australia - a figure that has doubled over the past 10 years but has levelled off in recent times."We`re certainly happier with the plateauing than an ongoing increase but we want to drive those rates down back to the sort of 600s or so per year that we were seeing in the beginning of the decade and we see no reason that we can`t do that," Butler said.During his speech at the launch he stressed the need for Australia to alter its health strategies."We know that as a nation we seriously under-do prevention," he said."Of the slightly more than 100 billion dollars that we spend on as a nation on health every year ... around two per cent is spent on stopping people getting sick in the first place," he stated.Men who have sex with other men remain the highest risk group for contracting HIV, which Butler said is now a "chronic disease".The launch follows accusations that 32-year-old circus acrobat Godfrey Zaburoni may have knowingly spread HIV by having unprotected sex with hundreds of potential partners.The case has sparked a national health alert, with authorities urging anyone who had unprotected sex with the Zimbabwe-born man to contact them and undergo an HIV test. ANI
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