Media Release

People without Medicare now able to access free or subsidised HIV treatment from the government

July 27, 2023

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  • People without Medicare can now access free or subsidised HIV treatment from the government, thanks to more than $39 million of funding.
  • Accessing treatment remains private and confidential, with clients to source treatment from public hospital pharmacies or other state-specific clinics.
  • ASHM, the peak health body representing the HIV and sexual health workforce, is providing information and resources to ensure healthcare professionals understand how to support clients under the new arrangements.

People without Medicare can now access government-funded HIV treatment, after a $39 million investment from the federal government.

Under the new funding model, people with HIV without Medicare will access free or subsidised treatment from hospital pharmacies or sexual health clinics, depending on which state or territory they live in.

Previously, people with HIV without Medicare accessed treatment through an industry-sponsored compassionate access scheme.

To ensure medical professionals understand what these changes mean and how to provide accurate information and advice to clients, ASHM has released state-specific webinars and online resources on these new protocols.

ASHM CEO Alexis Apostolellis said that it’s crucial we equip doctors, nurses, pharmacists, community health workers and sexual health workers with the information they need to realise these significant changes.

“These new arrangements will increase access to treatment for hundreds of people with HIV in Australia – a significant step towards achieving Australia’s goal of ending HIV transmission by 2030.

“To seamlessly and effectively implement these changes, we need to make sure medical professionals are aware of them – so they clearly understand what this means for their clients,” said Apostolellis.

Greater access to treatment for people with HIV in Australia without Medicare will improve health outcomes for individuals, while decreasing transmission of HIV, and working towards the goal of ending HIV transmission by 2030.

All Australian states and territories have now signed on to the new scheme. If you’re a medical professional, it’s important to understand these changes and how they work in your state to provide the best quality care. Learn how to best support your clients by heading to ASHM’s website.

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