34 men who have sex with men (MSM) contracted HIV in New Zealand in 2022, up from 29 in 2021, an increase of 17%.

The 2022 HIV and AIDS notification data from the University of Otago AIDS Epidemiology Group, showed that 53% of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) who acquired HIV in Aotearoa New Zealand were diagnosed late.

In 2022, of the 80 MSM notified with HIV, 34 acquired HIV in New Zealand. Of those, 29% are believed to have been diagnosed within about 14 months of infection. 53% had CD4 counts of less than 350, indicating a late diagnosis and that these individuals have been living with undiagnosed HIV for some time.


The data also shows an increase in the number of MSM in 2022 who acquired HIV locally.

In a statement, Burnett Foundation Aotearoa Chief Executive Joe Rich said:

“It is important that our communities are in regular systems of testing for HIV and other STIs suitable to their sexual needs. Early diagnosis and access to treatment leads to better health outcomes and helps prevent further transmission.”

“There have been concerns that low numbers of transmission in the past few years could have been, in part, a result of COVID-19 physical distancing measures or lockdowns decreasing testing frequencies. To see similar numbers in 2022 shows that combination prevention methods like condoms, PrEP, and HIV treatments appear to be working for our communities and that local transmission is on the decline.

“Ultimately, we need to see these numbers decline further to reach our goal of eliminating local transmissions of HIV by 2030, so there is still mahi to be done.”

There were four transgender women diagnosed with locally-acquired HIV in 2022.

“We are here to support at-risk rainbow and takatāpui communities’ access to combination prevention methods and services. We encourage men who have sex with men and people who have sex with them to visit our website and work out the best testing frequency and options for them,” says Mr. Rich.

The figures released by the University of Otago group, show 76 people were diagnosed with HIV in New Zealand in 2022. 53 of those were reported to have acquired HIV locally.

MSM were once again the group most affected by HIV in New Zealand. Of the 76 people diagnosed, 45 were MSM, 17 were heterosexually acquired (8 men and 9 women), and for 14 people the means of acquisition was reported as other or unknown.

In a separate statement, AIDS Epidemiology Group leader Dr Sue McAllister said:

“With over half (59 percent) of MSM who acquired HIV in New Zealand aged over 40 years, and of all ethnicities, it is important that prevention efforts are delivered to all MSM and that testing services are culturally safe.”

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