Research: Australian Visa rules jeopardise HIV management for PLHIV Migrants

Research has shown that some PLHIV have opted for suboptimal and cheaper antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens to increase their chances of receiving Permant Residency.

Since Australia imposes restrictions for people living with HIV (PLHIV) applying for permanent residency (PR), including spending less than AUD51,000 on medical costs over 10 years. Due to these current restrictions, PLHIV may elect to remain on cheaper, suboptimal ART to assist with reducing their projected healthcare costs.

To date, there have not been any studies examining the impacts of visa restrictions on the mental and physical health of PLHIV.

Further reading

The use of suboptimal antiretroviral therapy when applying for migration to Australia: a case series

This study from CSIRO Sexual Health has collated a case series to examine PLHIV suboptimal ART use because of visa issues. It also explores how this process affects the mental health and health-seeking behaviours of PLHIV applying for PR and the overall impacts upon public health.

Monash University Research

A Monash University sexual health expert have warned that an unintended consequence of Australia’s migration rules could compromise its goal of ending the HIV epidemic by 2030. Since being on the most effective but most expensive treatments puts many people beyond this threshold, a process designed to screen out applicants who might pose extra costs to Australia’s health system.

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