New Funds for HIV Prevention

Media Statement from Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Steven Miles

Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Palaszczuk Government is boosting funding to the Queensland AIDS Council to help more vulnerable Queenslanders take up successful HIV prevention treatment PrEP.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said more than $870,000 will be provided to QuAC over the next two and a half years.

“The success of the QPrEP trial is a step in the right direction for eliminating HIV in Queensland, and – along with Treatment as Prevention (TasP) – has led to the de-listing of aids from the notifiable diseases register,” he said.

“Thanks to the trial, PrEP is now on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). It’s now important to ensure people moving off the successful QPrEP trial receive the care and support they need to ensure marginalised and at-risk Queenslanders are able to access this medication.

“The transition period will go through until 31 December 2020, ensuring participants can transition from the trial and to reach new at risk Queenslanders and connect them with Medicare services.

“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.

“The funding will also go toward helping people who may not have been on the trial to navigate or access health services, for example providing assistance to find a PrEP prescriber.”

QuAC President Peter Black said the funding would help the organisation ensure that participants on the trial who wish to continue to access PrEP can do so with minimal interruption to their medication regime.

“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 QPrEPd trial,” he said.

“Yet there remains work to done ensuring everyone in our community is has access to these advances, and this funding will help us reach the most vulnerable and at risk community members.

QuAC is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of all of Queensland’s LGBTIQ, Brotherboy and Sistergirl communities.”

Member for McConnel Grace Grace said the funding boost reaffirmed the Government’s longstanding commitment to supporting Queensland AIDS Council.

“This funding will also enable QuAC to review their current strategic intent and business model in light of recent advances in tackling HIV,” Ms Grace said.

“PrEP is a highly effective HIV prevention tool and significantly reduces the risk of HIV transmission when taken daily by HIV negative people.

“Since introducing the trial two years ago, up to 3,000 Queenslanders have been able to access this life-changing medication for free.

“The success of the trial contributed to PrEP now being available on the PBS.”

Medicare eligible Queenslanders can access PrEP through any doctor or nurse practitioner and prescriptions can be filled at local pharmacies.

END

Media contact: Amy Hunter – 0423651484