Edward Cowley from the AIDS Foundation says it is important World AIDS Day is recognised. He says the situation could be worse than it is and a combined effort is needed to bring the numbers down. Mr Cowley says people are too complacent about using condoms. He says because the numbers are still relatively small people think they will not be infected.
It is estimated that more than 2,000 people now live with HIV in New Zealand. More than 600 New Zealanders have lost their lives to AIDS since the first local diagnosis in 1984. Gay and bisexual men are still the biggest group affected by HIV.
President George W. Bush today urged Congress to approve an additional US$30 billion ($39 billion) for the fight against AIDS worldwide over the next five years, and announced he would visit Africa early next year to further highlight the need and his administration's efforts.
"We dedicate ourselves to a great purpose: We will turn the tide against HIV/AIDS - once and for all," Bush said. "I look forward to seeing the results of America's generosity."