Moving Video Shows HIV-Positive Men Asking for PrEP Approval in Australia
May 11, 2015
While the fight to increase access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) rages on in the U.S., Australians are fighting to simply make PrEP available as a method of HIV prevention in their country. The Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) has released a video online featuring Australian community leaders who are living with HIV delving a powerful message: They would still be HIV negative today if PrEP had been available to them prior to their seroconversion. The video is part of the campaign #approvePrEPdownunder, which is hoping to pressure the Australian government to approve PrEP for use in Australia.
"Coming from community leaders with lived experiences as HIV positive spanning over three decades, it's a moving testament to the fact that if this technology had been available, these people would not be living with HIV today," said VAC CEO Simon Ruth in a press release.
The video features Living Positive Victoria CEO Brent Allan. He speaks to the importance of people living with HIV (PLHIV) advocating for PrEP to be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
"This video places PLHIV where they need to be -- championing those strategies which we know make a difference in HIV prevention," he said. "PLHIV have always been central and vital in HIV prevention. Our voices are pivotal in bringing this epidemic to an end."
The video also includes Australian writer Nic Holas and radio personality Dean Beck who was recently diagnosed prior to the making of the video.
"Well the reason I say I would have been on PrEP if it had been approved in Australia and had been available is because I was aware of my sexuality and how it plays out in my life. It's why I regularly got tested, it's why I never feared going to the clinic to get checked up. It's why I'm now also in the best position to take care of my health and well-being as I look forward, but I would have been on PrEP because I acknowledge that I'm not perfect, either," said Beck in the video.
Melbourne, Australia, was the host of last year's International AIDS Conference, where people from around the world came together to exchange knowledge and strategies for continuing the fight against HIV. PrEP was a highly discussed topic throughout the conference.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved PrEP for use in the U.S. in 2012.
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