The first Australia's HIV antibody testing was introduced mid-April of 1985 and nearly 900,000 of the tests are still conducted, yearly across the country.

It has become one of the nation's most widely performed tests, with and estimated 40 per cent of the adult population having it at least once.


Credit: The Herald Bulletin

Levinia Crooks, chief executive of the Australian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM) said, The good thing in Australia is we've always had free and anonymous testing.

When people are tested, if they find out they have HIV, the response overwhelmingly is concern about who they might have given it to and concern to not give it to anyone else.

The routine HIV antibody test is also offered to pregnant women or those who are considering pregnancy or undertaking STD tests.

The test is also a requirement for those seeking to join the armed forces.

About 80 per cent of gay men in Australia had undertaken at least one HIV test, while a third of all gay men have chosen to get tested every six months, a 2008 study revealed.

That doesn't mean that it couldn't be better and there may be some people who may never have been tested, said Ms Crooks.

But looking at a population level, I think there has been a remarkable uptake of testing.

Every year, there area about 100 cases of new transmission detected, and since the records started, the country has recorded less that 30,000 diagnoses of HIV.