The HIV futures study has begun its sixth snapshot of the lives of people with HIV/AIDS across Australia.

When the study began in 1997 over half of people with HIV were not in paid employment, a third had additional major health concerns other than HIV, and most were afraid their HIV status would lead to relationship and job rejection.

Only marginal improvements could be seen in the last survey, and concerns about confidentiality had grown -” especially in the workplace.

People with HIV living longer has been a key theme of the biennial studies, which documented the years following the advancement of antiretroviral treatments.

HIV futures certainly revealed that better HIV treatments led to increasing optimism among PLWHA and an appreciation of being able to plan for the future, lead researcher Dr Jeffrey Grierson said.

We are still seeing extremely high levels of poverty among PLWHA. It’s clear that, for many people, living with HIV has made it much more difficult to build a career. There is a lot of financial insecurity.

The study is conducted by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University.

info: Australians with HIV can fill out the survey at www.hivfutures.org.au

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