If Labor wins the next federal election Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has committed $53 million to step up the fight against HIV.
The commitment will include $3.6 million a year to support all states and territories in offering pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to another 17,500 Australians until it is listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and subsidised.
The funding package will also allocate $3 million a year to target ‘hidden populations’, including people that aren’t diagnosed with or currently being treated for HIV, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
More than 1,000 Australians are still diagnosed with HIV every year, and in some areas we are going backwards.
The rate of new infections in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders is now above other Australians for the first time ever.
The commitment comes as part of the national push to end new HIV infections by 2020.
The current government has cut almost $1 billion from health promotion, undermining the community-led response to HIV in Australia.