HIV medication co-payments waived in Queensland

Published Thursday, 27 July, 2023 at 08:57 AM

Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

  • The Health Minister announced the removal of co-payments for HIV antiretroviral therapy across Queensland
  • Co-payments will be removed from October 2023

Minister for Health, Mental Health, and Ambulance Services Shannon Fentiman has today announced the removal of co-payments for HIV antiretroviral therapy for people with HIV, regardless of their Medicare eligibility.

The announcement was made at the closing ceremony of IAS 2023 - the 12th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science in Brisbane. 

The medication will continue to be provided by Queensland Health services and community pharmacies and supports equitable access to treatment for all people with HIV.

All people with HIV require lifelong treatment and care.

HIV is now considered a chronic illness if the individual practices adequate treatment adherence and maintenance of an undetectable viral load.

The removal of co-payments will take effect from October 2023.

In December last year, Queensland joined the Fast Track Cities network, with a commitment to the virtual elimination of HIV by 2030.

Quotes attributable to the Health Minister:

As Queensland’s Health Minister, I want to see us end HIV transmission by 2030 and have zero HIV stigma and discrimination.

“Of the estimated 5,919 people living with HIV in Queensland, 91 per cent know their HIV status.

“Our more vulnerable groups in society, whether by age, gender or socio-economic status are the ones who have their health service access most compromised by co-payments.

“By removing cost barriers, we can increase treatment adherence and reduce HIV transmission risk within the community.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to providing everyone with equitable access to safe and affordable healthcare.”

Quotes attributable to Dr Bernard Gardiner, Vice President, Queensland council for LGBTI Health

"People living in precarious and marginalised circumstances urgently need this relief to live on, and live well, with HIV.

“Removing financial barriers to HIV treatment and care is a critical milestone as we travel the challenging last mile towards zero new HIV transmissions.”

Quotes attributable to Mark Counter, President Queensland Positive People:

“Today’s generous announcement means that soon all people living with HIV in Queensland, including the most vulnerable, will be able to achieve an undetectable viral load, making it impossible for them to transmit HIV to others.

“Not just a fantastic outcome for public health but a major step forward in reducing the stigma felt by all people living with HIV across Queensland.”


Media contact – Emilia Hutchinson – 0437 060 435