HIV infections in New Zealand rise as world infections drop

New Zealand is facing a shocking increase in HIV infections, as infections around the world drop.

In 2016, there was a nine percent rise in HIV infections, which translates to 244 new cases. About 3500 people are currently living with the virus in New Zealand.

Overseas infection rates are dropping - by 42 percent in Uganda, 40 percent in London, 16 percent in India and eight percent in New York.

Three's The Project spoke to comedian Neil Thornton about what he thinks is leading to the rise in infections.

"I think, because HIV medications are so powerful nowadays that people can live long healthy lives with almost no side effects whatsoever, that some of the visibility around AIDS has died in a lot of ways," he said.

"I think a lot of people have the sense that the HIV epidemic is over. It's lead to a certain amount of complacency and it's lead to a certain amount of risk-taking that otherwise wouldn't have been made."

Watch the video for the full The Project interview.