THE Victorian Government has launched a new plan to develop a cure for HIV backed by $1.2 million in funding.

The Victorian HIV Strategy 2017-2020 was launched by Minister for Health Jill Hennessy and sets out a roadmap to the virtual elimination of new HIV infections by 2020.

It’s the first of its kind in the state, and will help to boost education about the need for testing and rates of people being tested.

“We are determined to rid Victoria of HIV, and the discrimination and stigma it causes,” she said.

“We are setting the bar high. The strategy is backed by more than a million dollars in funding to help us finally develop a cure for HIV.”

The plan’s key targets are to have 95 per cent of people with HIV diagnosed, accessing the best treatment, and achieving an undetectable viral load by 2030.

It also sets out to improve prevention and work with affected communities to reduce stigma.

In addition, a statewide Testing Week for sexually transmitted infections and blood-borne viruses in Victoria will be held in the second week of September.

And for the first time in Australia, the plan also acknowledges women, trans, and gender diverse people as priority populations.

“We applaud the Government on their dedication to work with community-controlled organisations in the ongoing response to HIV in Victoria,” said VAC CEO Simon Ruth.

“This plan recognises that HIV affects a broad range of people, including women and members of the trans and gender diverse community, as well as acknowledging that HIV continues to disproportionately affect gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.”

The HIV Strategy was developed with the support of the entire sector including researchers, clinicians, healthcare professionals, community, and grassroots associations and people living with HIV.

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