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Australian Greens Candidate for Wentworth Calls on Turnbull to act on HIV

actiononhiv wentworth
Greens candidate for Wentworth, Dejay Toborek, plans to raise awareness on how to eliminate HIV/AIDS on World AIDS Day, December 1st.

"World AIDS Day is an important opportunity to let the community know about new findings regarding HIV/AIDS and to raise money for research and support programs," Dejay Toborek said.

“I will be out selling Red Ribbons for ACON this year to share ground-breaking prevention measures that aim to eliminate all new HIV transmissions and encourage the people of Wentworth to get behind this cause.

"As a person living with HIV for the past 15 years I have been amazed at how much change has occurred in such a relatively short time, not only for those of us who have acquired HIV, but also for those who are HIV negative.

"Right now in 2015, testing for HIV is quick and easy. A simple test, taking only 30 minutes to get a result, is available in selected locations around the country.

"But the most exciting recent innovation in HIV prevention is a drug treatment known as ‘PrEP’, that when taken once a day, everyday, has been shown in recent studies to be 100% effective in preventing HIV transmission.

"PrEP (Truvada) is a current HIV medication, that when used by HIV negative people, protects them from acquiring the virus. PrEP is progressing through the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and Pharmaceuticals Benefits Scheme (PBS) processes, but its passage and listing is far from certain.

"Many professionals in the HIV/AIDS Health sector are pushing for this medication to be approved by the TGA and listed on the PBS as soon as possible. ACON, the Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) and the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO), all fully support this treatment and its roll out to the community at large.

"I call on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Health Minister Susan Ley to ensure that PrEP be prioritised through the TGA and PBS processes.

"There are strong economic and ethical reasons for HIV prevention medication to be made widely available to all Australians. 'Treatment as Prevention' is vital to ending HIV in Australia in the same way the needle exchange program from the 1980s has prevented so many transmissions to the wider community .

"To end HIV in Australia is to have a three-pronged approach. Regular testing for HIV, Treating those with HIV and Preventing people from acquiring HIV." Mr Toborek said.
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