World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year. It raises awareness across the world and in the community about HIV and AIDS.
It is a day for people to show their support for people living with HIV and to remember and honour those who we have lost.
In the 2019–20 Budget, the Morrison Government invested $45.4 million to implement Australia’s five National Blood-Borne Viruses (BBV) and Sexually Transmissible Infections (STI) Strategies.
These strategies will make a deep and profound difference in reducing the health impacts and stigma of BBV and STI, including HIV.
Today, I am pleased to announce that our Government will provide additional, ongoing support for people with HIV and other BBV and STI’s by extending funding to six national peak organisations, providing almost $3 million for 2020-21.
In addition, from 1 December 2019, Australians living with HIV will save more than $8,500 a year with the listing of a new combination medicine on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
It is estimated that 850 Australians with HIV will benefit from the listing of Dovato® (dolutegravir with lamivudine) on the PBS, which will provide more choice for them in how they can manage their HIV.
Effective once daily treatments such as Dovato and other new medicines can control the virus so that people living with HIV can enjoy long, healthy and productive lives.
With the PBS subsidy, people living with HIV will pay just $40.30 per script, or $6.50 with a concession card for Dovato®.
Australia continues to be a world leader in the response to HIV. The number of new HIV diagnoses today is at its lowest in nearly 20 years.
Our success is built on a model of partnership between government, people living with HIV, community based organisations, health professionals and researchers.
We are seeing more people tested for HIV and initiating treatment for HIV. There are also more people living with a suppressed viral load. In addition, improved access to HIV prevention methods, including the PBS-listed pre exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), helps reduce the number of new HIV diagnoses.
We are also looking to address stigma and discrimination.
The Eighth National HIV Strategy 2018-22, guides our partnership approach over the next four years to virtual elimination of HIV transmission by 2022.
We aim to be one of the first countries in the world to eliminate new HIV transmissions.