Senate voices support for ending HIV transmissions by 2020


In recognition that today is World AIDS Day, the Senate has passed a motion reaffirming Australia’s commitment to ending HIV transmission by 2020.

The motion was put forward by Labor’s Senator Louise Pratt, The Liberal’s Senator Dean Smith and The Greens’ Senator Janet Rice.

Speaking about the motion Senator Rice said there was still significant stigma around HIV.

“World AIDS Day is a time to honour those we’ve lost, challenge the stigma that still exists and look to the future,” Senator Rice said.

“AIDS is no longer a death sentence, but the number of new cases is stubbornly remaining at over 1000 people a year. That is 1000 too many.

Senator Rice said the process of battling HIV could be sped up by access to PrEP treatment being approved.

“We can start by speeding up the process to give people easier access to the preventative drug PrEP.”

Here’s the motion:

The Senate-

  • Notes that:
    1. 1 December 2016 is World AIDS Day, which is held every year to raise awareness about the issues surrounding HIV and AIDS, and is a day for people to show their support for people living with HIV and to remember those who have died;
    2. The aim of World AIDS Day 2016 is to encourage Australians to educate themselves and others about HIV; to take action to reduce the transmission of HIV by promoting prevention strategies and to ensure that people living with HIV can participate fully in the life of the community, free from stigma and discrimination;
    3. While significant advancements in treatment and diagnosis have been made, 30 years after the discovery of the HIV virus the HIV epidemic remains one of the greatest public health challenges facing Australia, its region and the world; and
    4. Australia’s response to HIV and AIDS has always been driven by strong multi-party support and rigorously based on science and evidence.
  • Reaffirms the united support for the Seventh National HIV Strategy in setting the direction for Australia to reverse the increasing trend of new HIV diagnoses and working towards the virtual elimination of HIV transmission by 2020.
  • Welcomes the commitment by all State and Territory Governments to work with the Australian Government in the development of the Eighth National HIV Strategy.
  • Welcomes the pledge by the Australian Government for an additional $220 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at the Fifth Replenishment meeting in Montreal, Canada.

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