A ground-breaking study providing people at risk of HIV with access to the life changing medication Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is being expanded into regional Victoria for the first time.
Launching World AIDS Day 2016, Minister for Health Jill Hennessy today announced the expansion of the PrEPX study, as well as a new training program for GPs treating patients for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.
PrEP is a life changing HIV prevention medication for people at risk of HIV infection. More than 2600 at risk Victorians are now accessing the drug through the Victorian-first PrEPX study thanks to Andrews Labor Government.
The study is currently running at sites across metropolitan Melbourne, including the Alfred Hospital and Melbourne Sexual Health Centre pharmacies.
It will now be expand into rural and regional sites providing access to 150 places in the study.
Ballarat is on track to be first regional site, followed closely by Shepparton. In early 2017, site will open Bendigo, Mildura and Sale. Appointments are also expected to be available in Geelong and Wodonga in the new year.
Local providers for the study will be:
- Ballarat Community Health Centre’s sexual health clinic
- University Hospital Geelong’s sexual health clinic
- A private GP in Shepparton
- Bendigo Community Health Service’s sexual health clinic
- Gateway Community Health Service's sexual health clinic in Wodonga
- Alfred Health Outreach Clinics at Mildura Base Hospital
- Central Gippsland Health Service.
The Government also announced a refreshed blood borne virus training program for GPs, which is updated with the latest advances in treatment and care.
The new Victorian HIV, Hepatitis Integrated Training and Learning Program (VHHITAL) provides education and support for GPs on the diagnosis, treatment and management of HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
In 2016, the theme of World AIDS Day is HIV is still here – and it’s on the move. In Victoria, there are almost 7,400 people living with HIV.
The Andrews Labor Government, along with all Australian Health Ministers, is has signed up to achieve virtual elimination of new HIV infections by 2020.
As Australia’s first Fast-Track City, we are working hard to meet the Joint United Nations goal of 90-90-90 by 2020, where 90 per cent of people who are HIV positive know their status, 90 per cent are on treatment and 90 per cent of people on treatment have an undetectable viral load.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy
“PrEP is giving us real hope of a future where HIV is virtually eliminated. It’s important that people living in regional Victoria can access this life changing medicine, closer to home – and we’re making that happen.”
“World AIDS Day is a time for us to show support for people living with HIV and to remember all those that we have lost.”
“We’re taking action to reduce stigma and discrimination and promoting diversity so Victorians can access the HIV prevention, treatment and care they need, sooner.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020