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[Ending HIV] PrEP subsidy to commence in April

2015 11 02 prep

PrEP, the preventative medicine that radically reduces the risk of HIV transmission, will be subsidised via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule (PBS) from 1 April 2018.

The Australian government made the announcement in a press release today to provide $180 million of benefits to assist the fight against HIV.

The treatment involves taking PrEP once per day in order to reduce the risk of HIV infection for people who are a medium to high risk of HIV infection.

Access to PrEP will not only benefit gay and bisexual men but will also drive down rates of HIV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, migrant communities and other population groups which have seen increased transmission rates over recent years.

This decision implements a recommendation by the independent expert Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC), which found that PrEP significantly reduces the risk of sexually-acquired HIV. 

The Committee emphasised that PrEP should form part of a comprehensive approach to sexual health and complement other safe sex practices and is a key component in the fight against HIV. 

A further $1.2 million will be provided over five years for education and awareness activities for both prescribers and affected communities.

Defence personnel who consider that they have a medium to high risk of contracting blood-borne or sexually transmitted infection should speak with a doctor at their local health centre for advice about options and strategies to reduce those risks.

More information: Australian Federation of AIDS Organisation (AFAP) Fact Sheet


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