Around 10,000 people are currently living in NSW with a diagnosed HIV infection.
And at least 10 per cent of HIV sufferers don’t even know they have the virus, according to a new Hunter New England Health report.
Hunter New England Health sexual health director Nathan Ryder said once a person is diagnosed, they can start treatment and improve their health outcome as well as prevent the virus from being passed on.
“A person with HIV who is on treatment in 2016 can expect a near normal life expectancy and to live a healthy life,” Mr Ryder said.
“People in rural areas tend to get diagnosed later in the course of their infection and would then have worse health outcomes.
“It’s important for people to know, it’s never been easier to get tested.”
The report comes in time for World AIDS Day which is held on December 1 and has prompted health professionals in the area to encourage people ‘at risk’ of HIV to be tested.