Condoms 'successfully combating HIV in New Zealand'

The use of condoms appears to be successfully combating a HIV and Aids epidemic in New Zealand.

New figures released by the Aids Epidemiology Group at the University of Otago revealed there were 58 new diagnoses of HIV in the country in the first six months of 2011, which was markedly down on the 71 reported for the same period one year earlier.

And it seems the improvement may have come as a result of a novel approach taken by the New Zealand Aids Foundation (NZAF) to glamorise the use of condoms.

The organisation launched its Get it On! initiative in 2009, which aimed to make the products more sexy for gay and bisexual men.

Shaun Robinson, executive director at NZAF - which has been in operation for 25 years - noted: "The best scientific research and evidence available said that appealing marketing and a powerful online presence on the sites that gay men actually go to would increase rates of condom use."

Mr Robinson added the statistics prove this was the right approach to take and has been successful in reducing transmission of the disease.