$43.9 million to boost fight against HIV

Media event date:
21 May 2024

Date published:
21 May 2024

Media type:
Media release

General public

The Albanese Government is investing $43.9 million to put Australia on track to eliminate transmission of HIV on our shores by 2030.
This investment will fund a range of measures aligned with the recommendations of the National HIV Taskforce, which reported in November last year.
The Taskforce was chaired by Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Mark Butler MP and deputy chaired by Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Ged Kearney MP.
These measures will result in better prevention of HIV, access to testing and information, reduced stigma, and training on HIV for the health and support workforce.
The centrepiece of the package is a $26 million investment to provide subsidised access to PrEP for people living in Australia who are not eligible for Medicare.
Australia has always been a leader in the social and medical fight against HIV, with bipartisan support for major initiatives.
The new measures funded in last week’s Budget will be delivered in partnership with community groups who are vital to our efforts to contact and support hard-to-reach population groups at risk of HIV.
The Albanese Government this week committed Australia to the principles of the multinational Prevention Access Campaign that “U=U” – undetectable equals untransmissible.
U=U is an evidence-based principle that recognises that people with HIV with undetectable viral loads, thanks to treatment, cannot transmit HIV through sexual contact.
The principles of U=U validate and justify the ongoing need for governments to provide treatment, while also being a powerful message against stigma and discrimination.
The Multinational Undetectable = Untransmissible (U=U) Call-to-Action was developed by US-based community HIV organisation Prevention Access Campaign to facilitate global partnerships to promote U=U.
The Albanese Government fully endorses the U=U message and officially endorsed the Call-to-Action, joining more than 1,000 global partners, including the World Health Organization and UNAIDS, and becoming the fourth nation to sign, after Canada, the United States and Vietnam.
They include:
$26 million over two years from 2025–26 for subsidised pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) HIV prevention medication for people living in Australia without access to Medicare.
$3.8 million over two years from 2024-25 for the national implementation of the HIV testing vending machine initiative.
$3.7 million over two years from 2024-25 to peak HIV organisations to continue activities that support the national response to HIV.
$3 million over two years from 2024-25 for the continuation of the Emen8 website.
$2.5 million over two years from 2024-25 to expand the national HIV self-test mail out initiative.
$2.1 million over two years from 2024-25 to continue funding for the HIV Online Learning Australia.
$1.6 million in 2024-25 to develop a workforce education and training pilot on HIV prevention.
$1 million in 2024-25 to establish a national HIV multicultural peer navigation program.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“The Budget represents an important milestone that I believe will be pivotal in the course of HIV in Australia.
“We can now put in place programs and initiatives that can realistically lead to the elimination of transmission of HIV within the Australian community by 2030.
“This would be an achievement that all Australians could be proud of. Our nation can lead the world by showing the once impossible goal of eliminating HIV transmission is achievable.”
Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister Kearney:
“While progress towards our goal of virtual elimination of HIV transmission by 2030 is cause for celebration, we can’t forget those who tragically lost their lives during the HIV/AIDS epidemic and those who are still impacted today.
“Australia’s response to HIV has always been community-led. Working with all the members of the National HIV Taskforce and the community has been a true honour. Together we will stop HIV in its tracks.”
Quotes attributable to Health Equity Matters CEO, Dash Heath-Paynter:
“The foundation of Australia’s success in preventing HIV is the strong bonds between community, government, clinicians and researchers.  
“Minister Butler’s decision to champion U=U is exactly the sort of leadership that will propel us forward and accelerate virtual elimination of HIV transmission.”
Quotes attributable to Bruce Richman, Founding Executive Director, Prevention Access Campaign:
“PAC and the U=U campaign are delighted that Australia has officially signed onto this declaration, setting the example as a world leader in the HIV response and being community led.
“We congratulate HEM, NAPWHA and ASHM along with the Australian Health Minister Mark Butler for making this happen.
“Becoming a signatory to the declaration will ensure the principles of U=U are integrated into the country’s HIV response, and that communities continue to lead the way.”

Author: ibm1

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