Leading researchers have warned complacency about HIV and AIDS could derail the enormous progress achieved in the three-decade fight against the diseases.
Professor Sharon Lewin, local co-chair of the 2014 International AIDS conference, which starts in Melbourne on Sunday, said although there had been much progress in the past three decades, it was vital that people did not become complacent.
"We're certainly seeing that already now. In fact, although our numbers are small, our numbers of new infections continue to increase every year," she told the National Press Club on Friday.
"This year, again, we had the highest numbers of new infections - most infections are occurring in men who have sex with men and young men who have sex with men who don't know what the world is like with a disease like HIV and don't know how severe it actually can be.
"There are a whole lot of driving social factors that mean we can never be complacent and education messages are important."
The National Press Club also heard from Lord Norman Fowler, who was health secretary in Margaret Thatcher's government for six years and has just published a book about HIV, and Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, who received a Nobel laureate for her role in discovering HIV.
It came as figures released this week revealed HIV diagnoses reached a 20-year high in Australia and there were fears one in seven people with the virus do not know they have it.
Professor Lewin, Professor Barré-Sinoussi and Lord Fowler spoke on Friday about how advancements in treatment for HIV and AIDS meant education messages had now become more complicated.
"The other side of anti-retroviral drugs is that there has been for some, there's a theory, certainly this is the case in Britain, the feeling that all you need is one pill a day, it's a matter of no particular consequence," Lord Fowler said.
"It's a bit ... complacence that if you get HIV, it's not going to have quite the same impact. Somehow we need to get the message over to say that even if you are living with anti-retroviral drugs, it is still not a consequence-free condition and I don't think anyone would argue that."
Professor Lewin said many countries were reporting substantial declines in new infections of HIV.
"We're seeing incredible advances - over 25 countries have had 50 per cent reduction in new infections so there are many good news stories about increase in treatment and that 40 per cent of people who need treatment are on treatment," she said.
"To be complacent now and say we're doing okay and to not continue that level and to scale up treatment, we will miss a very key opportunity to really turn around the epidemic."
Lord Fowler said it was vital that governments did not stop investing resources in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
"I think the most difficult thing for governments over the next few years is to keep up the resources going in to this area and to increase those resources," he said.
"The fact is unless they do do that, particularly with overseas aid ... then we're going to start going backwards unless we're careful. That contribution, that amount of resource, has got to be maintained."
The 2014 International AIDS conference in Melbourne is expected to go ahead despite the suspected deaths of more than 100 people in the MH17 tragedy who were on their way there.