Funding slashed for HIV surveys
With the rates of new HIV diagnoses at an all-time high in New Zealand, health campaigners are questioning the loss of funding for important research.
Since 2002 the Ministry of Health has granted funding for two surveys that give insight into the behaviours contributing to the spread of the virus.
AIDS Foundation General Manager, Nick Laing, says it's a significant blow to the on-going effort to stop the spread of HIV.
"They give us background information about some of the drivers that might lead to HIV transmission between gay and bisexual men, which allows us to plan prevention strategies to address them," he says.
"We really need that information and that data to help us understand what might be driving that high level of new infections in that population."
Mr Laing says they haven't been given an explanation as to why they lost funding, but he says the surveys are critical for education.
"Having information to base prevention programs on, that we can target certain behaviours or target certain groups with, key prevention strategies are really important."
Mr Laing is hopeful they will be able to find an alternative source of funding.