New data from Queensland shows that 178 people were diagnosed with HIV-AIDS last year and has recorded its highest number of cases compared to previous years.

Chief Health Officer of Queensland, Jeanette Young, said in an interview that the number of cases in 2009 is at its highest since it was announced as a disease in the state in 1994.

Of all HIV cases last year, 88 percent came from the male population in the 25-34 age group, and this may be slightly caused by the insistent campaign for testing of gay men led by the Queensland Association for Health Communities, Young said.

She also said that health authorities in Queensland continue to spend a large amount of money for continuous campaign in safe HIV-AIDS prevention strategies. A new Queensland HIV Prevention Action Plan is being finalized and shall be considered on April 22 by the Australian Health Ministers Conference (AHMC).

At present, World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that there were about 33.4 million people living with HIV-AIDS globally during 2008 and 2 million deaths from the disease.