Starting 2021, temporary visa holders in Australia who are living with HIV will gain access to subsidised HIV treatment and care.

Approved by Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, this change will allow overseas students, workers and others on temporary visas to access subsidised HIV treatment.

The news was welcomed by Donatella Cifali, Senior Social Worker at Diversity Hub’s Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service (MHAHS). 

“We commend the government’s decision to subsidise HIV medications for Medicare-ineligible temporary visa holders. We have long advocated the issue, and believe it is the right step towards equity for all people living with HIV,” said Ms. Cifali. 

A large number of clients with MHAHS are Medicare-ineligible. Up until now, they have had to purchase their own medication at full cost, usually imported generic drugs from overseas or have relied upon compassionate access, which is not uniformly available via health providers.

“It is a relief to know that our clients will now be able to easily obtain health-giving medication just like anyone else. The decision also shows government commitment to ending HIV in Australia and globally,” said Ms. Cifali.

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