Health minister Greg Hunt has marked World AIDS Day by announcing $50 million in funding to extend access to HIV treatment in Australia and to support a range of activities that will support the health and mental wellbeing of people living with blood-borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections.
World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year.
This year is the 40th anniversary of the first official report of the immune illness that would be later recognised as AIDS. In 2020, there were 633 new diagnoses of HIV in Australia and more than 29,000 people living with HIV.
Minister Hunt said the federal government will invest more than $39 million over five years to support people living with HIV in Australia, who are not eligible for Medicare, to access the treatment they need.
“This investment will benefit an estimated 1,000 people currently living with HIV in Australia each year, providing access to appropriate and equitable HIV treatment and care,” he said.
“By expanding treatment to more people living with HIV in Australia, we can improve health outcomes for individuals and contribute to curbing the onward transmission of the virus.”
The Morrison Government will continue to work with the states and territories to establish the new access arrangements that will commence from 1 July 2022, said Minister Hunt.
“Our Government will also provide more than $11 million in new funding to Australia’s blood-borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections peak bodies to continue their important work across the country,” said Minister Hunt.