Accessing Treatment Without Medicare

How to Access HIV Treatment Without Medicare

On World AIDS Day 2021, Commonwealth Health Minister Greg Hunt announced $39 million would be committed over five years to fund access to treatment and care for Medicare ineligible PLHIV. This news is welcomed and will make the world of difference for Medicare ineligible PLHIV in Australia. The exact details of the scheme are still being finalised, but we will provide further information when it is available.

Currently, overseas visitors (working, studying or holidaying in Australia) who are not eligible for a Medicare card can access subsidised treatment if their country is listed within the Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with the Australian Government – a full list of these countries can be seen here. If your country is not listed, other affordable options for obtaining HIV treatment will need to be considered.

Our QPP Medicare InEligible Factsheet outlines options and supports that are available, as well as how to access ongoing medical healthcare to monitor your HIV health during your stay in Australia, particularly within Queensland. Download a copy in your preferred language below.

It is important to realise that you are not alone if you have been diagnosed with HIV without an Australian Medicare Card, as QPP is available to assist you in navigating your HIV treatment and clinical care needs. QPP offers assistance and support to ALL people living with HIV, whether you are Medicare eligible or not. QPP offers a safe, free and confidential service.

QPP’s also provides financial support for Medicare ineligible people living with HIV, through the Emergency Treatment Fund. If you are finding it difficult to get access to the health care or medications you need to manage your HIV, refer yourself for support, talk to your doctor, or contact us. We are here to help you live well with HIV.

When Should I Start Treatment?

It is important to discuss all the benefits and risks to starting treatment, and your personal readiness to start treatment with your doctor. Today, most people are recommended to start treatment once a diagnosis is confirmed.

Where Can I Get Treatment?

People living with HIV can get their HIV medication from their local pharmacy, an online pharmacy or a hospital-based pharmacy, whatever suits them better.

How Much Does Treatment Cost?

Treatment for HIV is available throughout Australia at highly subsidised costs for Medicare Card holders, through the PBS.

Drug Resistance & Adherence

HIV drug resistance is caused by changes in the genetic structure of HIV that affect the ability of medicines to work effectively.  Ensuring you are as consistent with your regime as possible reduces this possibility.

Side Effects & Changing Treatment

Modern HIV drugs tend to have minimal side-effects but some side effects can still occur. This is why all changes to your treatment should always be in consultation with your HIV doctor.

Our trained team is here to help you should you have any questions or need support. You can contact QPP toll free from a Queensland land-line on 1800 636 241 or (07) 3013 5555 nationally, email us at info@qpp.org.au or use our contact us form.

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