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Health Minister Mark Butler commits Australia to U=U campaign

Australia’s Health Minister Mark Butler has committed to supporting the international U=U campaign.

U=U is an evidence-based principle that recognises that people with HIV with undetectable viral loads, thanks to treatment, cannot transmit HIV through sexual contact.
 
The principles of U=U validate and justify the ongoing need for governments to provide treatment, while also being a powerful message against stigma and discrimination.
 
The Multinational Undetectable = Untransmissible (U=U) Call-to-Action was developed by US-based community HIV organisation Prevention Access Campaign to facilitate global partnerships to promote U=U.

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After signing Australia up to the agreement Butler said the Albanese Government fully endorses the U=U message and officially endorsed the Call-to-Action, joining more than 1,000 global partners, including the World Health Organization and UNAIDS.

Australia is the fourth nation to sign, after Canada, the United States and Vietnam.

Dash Heath-Paynter, CEO of Health Equity Matters, welcomed the new commitment.

“The foundation of Australia’s success in preventing HIV is the strong bonds between community, government, clinicians and researchers.  
 
“Minister Butler’s decision to champion U=U is exactly the sort of leadership that will propel us forward and accelerate virtual elimination of HIV transmission.” Heath-Paynter said.

Bruce Richman, Founding Executive Director, Prevention Access Campaign, said the agreement showed that Australia was a world leader in the field.

“PAC and the U=U campaign are delighted that Australia has officially signed onto this declaration, setting the example as a world leader in the HIV response and being community led.
 
“We congratulate HEM, NAPWHA and ASHM along with the Australian Health Minister Mark Butler for making this happen.
 
“Becoming a signatory to the declaration will ensure the principles of U=U are integrated into the country’s HIV response, and that communities continue to lead the way.” he said.

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