Media Release: AFAO welcomes Government commitment to community-led HIV response
The AIDS Action Council of the ACT, as a member of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) has welcomed the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to a package of policies that will provide important support to the community-led HIV response.
The Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, has committed to:
- 95-95-95 targets. This includes having 95 per cent of HIV positive people aware of their status, 95 per cent of those who know they are HIV positive on treatment, and 95 per cent of people who are HIV positive attaining viral suppression;
- Putting PrEP on the PBS. List the HIV prevention pill, PrEP, on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in the event of a positive recommendation by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee as quickly as possible;
- Ongoing support for national peak organisations. Two years of continued funding for AFAO, the National Association of People with HIV Australia, Scarlet Alliance, Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League and Hepatitis Australia; and
- New funding for HIV research. NHMRC funding of $16.1 million for a University of Melbourne led project to better understand the biology of HIV.
“We are deeply appreciative of the federal Government’s renewed commitment to the community-led HIV response,” said Darryl O’Donnell, CEO of AFAO. “This announcement is significant and allows us to continue critical work towards our goal of ending the Australian HIV epidemic.
“Minister Hunt’s decision to recognise the 95-95-95 targets is especially noteworthy. Epidemics require constant vigilance. If we are to defeat HIV, it will require sustained political, intellectual and financial commitment.
“The Minister’s commitment to list PrEP on the PBS as quickly as possible will also drive fresh gains against HIV. When taken daily, PrEP is astonishingly effective at preventing HIV transmission. We are hopeful of an imminent PBAC recommendation to make this medicine available, and we are heartened by the Minister’s commitment to support PrEP’s inclusion on the PBS.”
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