Federal government to spend $50m on HIV

The federal government is spending nearly $40 million so more Australians can access HIV treatment.

The money to be doled out over five years will give people not eligible for Medicare access to treatment.

Health Minister Greg Hunt expects about 1000 people a year to benefit.

Another $11 million will be handed to peak bodies looking at blood borne viruses and sexually transmitted infections.

Last year, 663 people were diagnosed with HIV, which causes AIDS. Overall diagnoses declined by 37 per cent in the five years to 2020.

There was also a 44 per cent drop in gay and bisexual men diagnosed over the same period.

The National Association of People Living with HIV Australia labelled the funding great news for vulnerable people.

“HIV positive people without access to Medicare will no longer have to rely on personal importation, drug trials or compassionate access arrangements to maintain their health,” president Scott Harlum said.

Mr Hunt used World AIDS Day to reconfirm Australia’s aim of ending HIV transmission by mid-decade.

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