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Members Statement: HIV stigma

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — On World AIDS Day I was honoured to be announced as an ENUF ambassador and commit to helping end stigma against people living with HIV. HIV stigma is a threat to health of our community. It discourages people from getting tested for HIV and knowing their HIV status. Ensuring that people know their HIV status is critical to preventing the spread of HIV and reaching the goal of zero HIV transmissions by 2020.

This week in my electorate newsletter every household in Prahran will receive a message about the importance of ending HIV stigma.

I am encouraging everyone in the Prahran electorate to visit the website and sign the ENUF pledge, which reads:

I pledge to challenge HIV stigma whenever and wherever I see it.

I will not sit by and allow anyone living with HIV to fear disclosure.

I will take action when I see others gossiping about, rejecting and/or promoting negative stereotypes about people living with HIV.

I commit to being part of the solution, not part of the problem.

I also highlight the importance of the HIV prevention treatment PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). Evidence has shown that, when taken daily, PrEP protects people from HIV transmission. Along with ending stigma, PrEP is front and centre of our efforts to reach zero transmissions. The Greens would like to see the Victorian government increase the rollout of PrEP trials for those most at risk of HIV transmission, and we would like to see the federal government speed up the process of getting PrEP approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and listing it on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme.

I acknowledge all the people and organisations that work so hard so hard in this space, including Brenton Geyer, ENUF campaigner; Living Positive Victoria; the Victorian AIDS Council; Positive Women Victoria: and Straight Arrows.