"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

The budget allocated $26m for PrEP. what's this? Will it prevent me from getting HIV?

A$43.9 million was allocated to HIV prevention over three years this week. Federal budget. Some $26 million of that’s for “PrEP” for individuals who don't have access to Medicare.

PrEP stands for Pre-exposure prophylaxis – Use of antiretroviral drugs in individuals who don’t have HIV, but who’re in danger.

Antiretroviral drugs are drugs used to treat HIV, but can prevent someone from contracting the virus if used before exposure.

Here's why this extra funding is so vital, what it means for people susceptible to HIV and for public health more broadly.

Why take Pre-EP?

There is a pre-EP. Highly effective In the prevention of HIV, it really works by stopping HIV. Replication in the bodystopping the establishment of a chronic (long-term) infection.

It has some major benefits over other methods of stopping HIV acquisition, comparable to condoms.

First, it allows people to plan their HIV prevention ahead of time and never should use something in the warmth of the moment. Second, it enables an individual having consensual sex – whether anal, vaginal or each – to be in command of their very own protection, and never should depend on the actions of their partner(s).

There are differing types.

Currently, there are two ways to take PrEP in Australia – as a each day pill or “On demand“There isn’t one Injection formhowever it isn’t yet widely available.

“On Demand” includes 4 tablets. You take two pills right before sex, one the day after, and one the day after that. This is quicker than the each day dose, but good for individuals who have occasional dangerous sex.

For most gay and bisexual men, all three varieties of PrEP are effective is almost equal. But “on demand” is PrEP. Less effective For vaginal sex, since the concentration of the drug is lower within the vagina. “On-demand” PrEP can also be not effective for individuals with chronic hepatitis B, as episodic use of PrEP medication may increase. Risk of resistance For the treatment of hepatitis B.

There are various kinds of PrEP for HIV prevention.
Daisy Daisy/Shutterstock

Is Pre-EP on Medicare?

PrEP is currently subsidized under the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme for individuals with access to Medicare. And it adds as much as the next level. Australian origin Gay and bisexual men.

But access to Foreign born Gay and bisexual men have been an issue. Many temporary residents and visitors to Australia usually are not eligible for Medicare. This isn’t only an issue for somebody who could also be susceptible to contracting HIV, but in addition for public health.

The funding for people not eligible for Medicare is a component of a collection of PrEP interventions geared toward improving Australia's HIV response.

Australia's goal. Ending HIV transmission By 2030. This means reducing HIV transmission by 91 recent cases a 12 months, currently not considered a public health threat.

Early diagnosis is important.

While HIV is diagnosed in Australia. There are fewer, 44 percent of them 2022 was classified as a “late” assessment. This means that folks had already sustained significant immune damage by the point of diagnosis, indicating that they’d likely been living with HIV for some years.

Early diagnosis of HIV means people can access effective treatment. The treatment prevents immune suppression, meaning people can live longer, healthier lives. Treatment also refers to them. HIV cannot be transmitted To your sexual partners. But late diagnosis means people don't get tested for years, don't know they're living with HIV, and can have inadvertently exposed others. This is bad for the person, and bad for public health.

HIV testing, then, is the cornerstone of an efficient HIV response. That's why the brand new funding on this week's federal budget to expand testing options is welcome.

One of those initiatives is $3.8 million to make HIV self-tests from vending machines more widely available. Another $2.5 million has been allocated to expand self-testing kits available by mail.

Both of those programs give people a discreet approach to access testing without having to face one other person. Their purpose is to remove the obstruction. Shame or disgrace Some people could also be afraid to access personal services. They also avoid the prices of seeing a GP for a check-up.

How our response to HIV has modified.

Been there for the past 40 years Key highlights In response to HIV: The advent of combination therapy, which transformed a life-threatening infection right into a chronic, manageable disease. The discovery that antiretrovirals can act as a preventative. and treatment that stops transmission to individuals with HIV. sexual partners.

In comparison, these recent initiatives could seem trivial, but that may diminish their importance. By responding to barriers that may keep people out of the prevention and care services they need, this funding supports the lofty goal of ending HIV.