The Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations has called on the country’s government to contribute an additional $53 million to increase the approval and support of treatment and testing for HIV to end transmissions by 2025.
In a proposal presented on Thursday, the group told members of parliament that Australia would save $1.4 billion AUD in health costs while also preventing 6,000 HIV transmissions, SBS News reported.
The plan combines several solutions including making PrEP available over the counter and increases in funding for HIV treatment. It also calls on programs to help end the stigma of living with HIV.
Darryl O’Donnell, the chief executive of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations, said that Australia has become uncritical toward HIV in the country.
"The big risk for Australia today is we say '900 cases is acceptable' when every case of HIV costs at least a quarter of a million dollars to the Commonwealth directly over a lifetime," O’Donnell said, according to SBS News. "Coasting is not okay in terms of the financial cost to the taxpayer but also in terms of the human cost."
O’Donnell warned that not investing in HIV services would be “a long period of cost and needless human impact.”