THE number of people diagnosed with HIV in New Zealand last year has hit an all-time high.

A record 244 people were diagnosed in 2016, mostly gay and bi men, the Gisborne Herald has reported.

The figures come from the University of Otago’s AIDS Epidemiology Group.

New Zealand AIDS Foundation executive director Jason Myers said the growing number of people living with HIV should be seen as a call to action.

“The reality is no one is immune from risk,” he said.

“The message is really clear: if you think you have been at risk then get tested for HIV.”

With 80 per cent of the new cases among gay and bi men, Myers said data showed condom use was dropping in this group.

The New Zealand AIDS Foundation said key strategies in HIV prevention and management are condom use, PrEP, testing and immediate treatment.

“In an increasingly complex HIV prevention environment, we must mount the most sophisticated attack we can,” it said.

“The world of HIV prevention has been revolutionised in recent years and the time to act is now if we are to gain the maximum benefit from new opportunities.”

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