Vic PreP Funding To Continue Till PBS Listing

Health Minister Jill Hennessy

The Andrews Labor Government will fund an extension to the game-changing PrEPX study to continue protecting Victorians at risk of HIV exposure.

To ensure people participating in the trial can have uninterrupted access to PrEP until it is listed on the
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, the Labor Government will provide a further $400,000 to extend the existing

PrEPX study by an additional three months to 30 June 2018.

The landmark PrEPX study has helped more than 4,000 Victorians access this ground-breaking HIV prevention tool.

Now with this additional funding, Victorians in the study can transition to accessing PrEP through their regular GP.

The Labor Government has welcomed the addition of the HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, on the PBS last week – it’s long overdue.

The listing of PrEP means that we have a real opportunity to reach our goal of eliminating new HIV transmissions by 2020. Making it affordable and accessible for all Victorians who need it is critical in helping to achieve the 2020 elimination goal.

The new investment in Victoria is in addition to the $1.5 million already provided by the Labor Government to the study between 2016-2017 bringing the Government’s total investment to $1.9 million.

Resources are currently being developed for doctors and nurses to help them easily provide PrEP to their patients from day one. Evidence shows that PrEP is one of the most effective HIV prevention tools available. When taken daily it can reduce the risk of HIV transmission by up to 99 per cent.

Together with condoms, frequent and regular sexual health screening and effective treatments for people living with HIV, Victorians have more tools than ever to prevent HIV.

The study, the second largest of its kind in Australia, is a partnership between the Victorian AIDS Council and Alfred Health.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy said “Finally, Australians can be protected by the inclusion of PrEP in the PBS – it’s long overdue. Improving access to affordability of care is the first step towards eliminating transmission.”

“This decision will have a tremendous effect on at risk Victorians and Australians and will fundamentally improve our HIV prevention response.”

More information on PrEP can be found at the Victorian AIDS Council website:

https://vac.org.au/hiv-aids/pre-exposure-prophylaxis-prep

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)