AS PART of the federal government’s 2017-18 budget it has committed to making the HIV-prevention pill PrEP available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme if the pill is approved at a key meeting in July.

The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) welcomed the government’s budget commitment.

“We will continue to provide affordable access to new medicines that are recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee [PBAC] without fear or favour,” said Health Minister Greg Hunt in budget papers last night.

Around 10,000 Australians are currently taking PrEP through trials run by state and territory governments.

Applications to make PrEP more widely available and affordable will come before the PBAC in July.

“It’s highly reassuring to see this budget commitment to make PrEP available if it wins PBAC listing,” said Darryl O’Donnell of AFAO.

“PrEP can prevent thousands of HIV transmissions in the years ahead, but only if it’s affordable and available to those who need it.

“PrEP is critical to effectively ending new HIV transmission by 2020. Alongside new HIV testing technology, continued safe sex and an enduring commitment to a community-led HIV response, we can end this epidemic.

“AFAO welcomes Minister Hunt’s commitment and looks forward to a close ongoing partnership.”

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