Grim HIV warning

A SUNSHINE Coast doctor has called on people to consider the life-changing effects of HIV when considering unsafe sex.

Dr Kuong Taing, director of sexual health and HIV services at Clinic 87, Nambour, said a degree of complacency about HIV had crept in during the last 10 years.

Dr Taing was commenting on figures from the Queensland Gay Periodic Survey which showed 39% of respondents had casual sex without using a condom last year.

The Queensland AIDS Council executive director John Mikelsons has called for a revolution in HIV education.

The QuAC says more than 70% of new HIV infections are among gay men.

Dr Taing said he believed some people had become complacent about HIV because advances in treatment meant the lifespan of a HIV-positive person could be almost normal.

But Dr Taing said that although an HIV-positive person might live almost as long as someone else, their life was changed.

"It will affect you for the rest of your life.

"It's a chronic infection," he said.

He said 206 new HIV infections were reported in Queensland last year, double that of 10 years ago.

Sunshine Coast Local Medical Association vice-president Dr Rob Ingham said HIV changed sexual habits in the 1980s.

"We're trying to get out that all people should be practising monogamous sex, and if not, we should be practising safe sex and protect not only against HIV but all sexually transmitted infections," he said.