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Monday, 4 December 2017
Page: 9522


Senator BUSHBY (TasmaniaChief Government Whip in the Senate) (16:23): At the request of Senators Fierravanti-Wells, Moore, Smith and Singh, I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) 1 December 2017 is World AIDS Day, which is held every year to raise awareness about the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS, and to show support for people living with HIV,

(ii) while significant advancements in treatment and diagnosis have been made over the past 30 years, HIV/AIDS remains a major health concern worldwide and in our region,

(iii) the most recent data shows that:

(A) in 2016, 36.7 million people were living with HIV globally, and 1.8 million people became newly infected,

(B) in 2016, in the Asia-Pacific, 5.1 million people were living with HIV, the largest population outside Africa, and 270,000 people became newly infected, representing 15% of all new infections, and

(C) our nearest neighbour, Papua New Guinea (PNG), has high rates of HIV infection - UNAIDS estimates there are 46 000 people living with HIV in PNG, including 3000 children under the age of 14,

(iv) HIV infection rates are highest among certain populations, including sex workers, people who inject drugs, transgender people, prisoners, and men who have sex with men - the discrimination and stigma faced by these populations often prohibit them from accessing HIV prevention and treatment services,

(v) Australia is one of the few countries that advocates for HIV treatment and prevention and rights for these populations,

(vi) Australia also plays an important role in the fight against HIV in the Asia-Pacific and is committed to the 90-90-90 treatment targets and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 3.3 to end the HIV epidemic by 2030, and

(vii) globally, 11 million people living with HIV receive anti-retro viral therapy treatment through Global Fund supported programs, comprising more than half the total number of people on treatment worldwide; and

(b) recognises that:

(i) Australia has a long bipartisan history of supporting the fight against HIV in our Indo-Pacific region - over the past decade, successive Australian Governments have provided over one billion dollars to support HIV-specific programs through the aid program,

(ii) access to quality health care services for HIV treatment is a challenge in PNG, where budget, population growth, urbanisation and remoteness constrain service delivery,

(iii) Australia is committed to strengthening PNG’s HIV prevention and treatment activities and has invested in HIV interventions working to reduce sexually transmitted infections and HIV, and increase access to HIV prevention and treatment,

(iv) Australia recognises the commitment and engagement of local PNG community organisations and their supporters who have worked on HIV education and service delivery in the region for many years,

(v) Australia benefits from our support to PNG health, because a healthy, prosperous region is in Australia’s interest,

(vi) Australia recognises that good health and strong and resilient health systems support productive societies and economic growth, and

(vii) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, healthy lives and wellbeing for all, includes target 3.3, to end the HIV epidemic by 2030 - to achieve this target we need to continue our strong support for action against HIV in our region.

Question agreed to.