Queensland targets HIV transmission with new funding

Doug Hendrie

24/09/2018 3:07:06 PM

The state has announced a new funding push aimed at helping at-risk people get access to the HIV-prevention therapy PrEP.

Queensland recently de-listed AIDS as a notifiable disease.
Queensland recently de-listed AIDS as a notifiable disease.

The State Government this week announced $870,000 in funding to the Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC) to help vulnerable populations access pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which was listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme earlier this year.
Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said the success of the state’s earlier QPrEP trial, which had around 3000 participants, contributed to the state’s recent de-listing of AIDS as a notifiable disease.
‘The success of the QPrEP trial is a step in the right direction for eliminating HIV in Queensland,’ he said.
‘This funding boost will support QuAC to broaden its reach and work collaboratively with GPs and other primary healthcare providers across the state to increase awareness of PrEP.’
QuAC President Peter Black said the funding will help the organisation ensure trial participants who wish to continue to access PrEP can do so with minimal interruption to their medication regimen.
‘Biomedical advances such as PrEP and Treatment as Prevention [TasP] are truly wonderful developments for our community, as was demonstrated by the recent removal of AIDS as a notifiable condition earlier this month and by the early success of [the] QPrEP trial,’ he said.
Treatment as Prevention – TasP – is the use of antiretroviral therapy to prevent sexual transmission of the virus. People using antiretroviral therapies and who have an undetectable viral load have been shown to have zero risk of transmitting the virus.
There were 963 people diagnosed with HIV in Australia last year, a seven-year low, according to new research by the Kirby Institute.
Rates among gay and bisexual men fell by 15% in the last year alone, but there was 10% rise in diagnoses amongst heterosexuals. HIV diagnosis rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have also increased in the last five years, with prevalence rates now twice that of non-Indigenous Australians.

AIDS HIV hiv transmission PREP

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