This is the end of our AIDS epidemic, say scientists

THE spectre of AIDS that terrified an entire generation is now over, say Australia's top scientists.

It makes Australia one of few nations in the world to have successfully addressed and beaten the epidemic, according to ABC News.

It is a sharp contrast to the early 1990s when about 1000 Australians died each year from the disease.

Kirby Institute's Professor Andrew Grulich -- who heads the HIV Epidemiology and Prevention Program -- said the only cases of AIDS that appear are those who had HIV but were undiagnosed.

"It's a transitory thing for most people," he said.

"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 are people undiagnosed with HIV and so they can't be treated."

The ABC reports that while Australia may have defeated the AIDS epidemic, it remains an enormous concern for our neighbours.

In the Asia-Pacific region, 180,000 cases of AIDS and 1.2 million cases of HIV are reported per year.

While AIDS may no longer be a major health concern in Australia, the fight against HIV continues.

About 1000 new cases of HIV are reported in Australia each year, with 10% of those undiagnosed until the infection was well advanced.