HIV rates in Australia are on the rise and more cases are being seen in women and heterosexual men, outside of the usual at risk groups such as men who have sex with men (MSM) and people from high risk countries.

Thankfully there has been enormous progress in the treatments available for HIV and therefore the majority of people will never progress to the symptoms of AIDS.

For many people, one pill a day will keep them healthy and mean they will live to a ripe old age. People living with HIV can expect to get married, have children and do everything they wish in life.

The treatments for HIV are complex medications and doctors are required to undergo specialised training to prescribe them.

However, if people are diagnosed after many years of having HIV they can still become very unwell and mean they have a shortened life expectancy. They may also pass the HIV on to their sexual partners without realising they are putting them at risk.

Early testing and treatment is vitally important.

Cairns Doctors have access to the rapid HIV test which is done on a finger prick blood test and takes only 20 minutes to develop. This leads to an increase in confidentiality for clients who may not wish to access a test through the usual pathology service.

We also have doctors with many years experience in HIV care to assist people living with HIV to gain the best of health.

Visit the Aidsmap website to learn more about HIV. If you are HIV positive, visit Queensland Positive People for more information and support.