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AFAO welcomes Budget commitment to National HIV Strategy

The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) has welcomed a commitment to continue funding Australian’s National HIV Strategy.

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The Morrison Government has tonight announced continued funding to implement Australia’s National HIV Strategy. The Budget papers reveal a further $8.6 million will be allocated to combat blood-borne viruses and sexually transmitted infections, including $5 million to implement the fifth National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander BBV and STI Strategy.

Darryl O’Donnell, Executive Director of AFAO welcomed the increase in funding.

“Our progress against HIV is impressive, but delicate,” Mr O’Donnell said. “The investments announced tonight are important in allowing us to continue our work to end HIV transmission.

“However with greater resources we can achieve much more. Australia is one of the few countries in the world that can hope to end HIV transmission in coming years. Doing so will require new resolve, policy reform and investment.”

Last June, AFAO released Agenda 2025, which modeled how a $53 million annual investment could end Australia’s HIV epidemic, averting six thousand new infections by 2030 and freeing up $1.4 billion in health resources.

In December 2021, AFAO welcomed the Government’s announcement of funding to make HIV treatment available to all people with HIV, including those without access to Medicare. This $11m per annum commitment delivers one of the pillars of Agenda 2025.

Agenda 2025 provides a path to 95% of people at risk of HIV infection using one or more forms of effective HIV prevention; 95% of people living with HIV diagnosed and treated; and 98% achieving undetectable viral load.

“The HIV response is powered by compassion, evidence and co-operation,” O’Donnell said. “We are committed to our mission because we know bravery, science and passion can overcome fear and prejudice.

“We are ready to partner with the Government to go the last mile. As COVID has reminded us, when elimination is within sight we need to grasp the opportunity.”

As the federal election approaches AFAO has pledged to continue to advocate for the investment required to end HIV transmission in Australia.

Graeme Watson


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