Australian Consensus Statement on Person-Centred HIV Care

Australian Consensus Statement on Person-Centred HIV Care

Australian Consensus Statement on Person-Centred HIV Care


On 28 August 2022, ASHM, the national peak body representing the blood-borne virus (BBV) and sexual and reproductive health workforce, and the National Association of People with HIV Australia (NAPWHA) convened a high-level roundtable on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.
The roundtable brought together clinicians, community, government and industry representatives to forge consensus on person-centred care in Australia.

Key statement

Clinicians, community, government and industry delegates agree that person-centred principles should guide the delivery of HIV-related care to ensure the highest attainable standard of health for people living with HIV and people at risk of HIV acquisition. Person-centred approaches:

  • centre a person’s autonomy, dignity and rights
  • respect a person’s decisions and experiences
  • support a person to lead the dialogue about their health
  • build relationships grounded in understanding and trust
These are holistic approaches that centre people and their goals, beyond a narrow focus on disease control, prevention and viral suppression. Person-centred care is about people having the space to articulate their priorities, and working cooperatively with healthcare
providers to make decisions that work for them.
Peer navigators and support workers model person-centred practices by working alongside people living with HIV. Peer workers demonstrate the effectiveness of holistic, multi-disciplinary, non-stigmatising and personalised care and are critical to implementing a person-centred approach in Australia.
People living with HIV deserve to flourish but still face discrimination, criminalisation, insecurity, isolation and stigma. Healthcare providers and policymakers should understand HIV not only as a biomedical phenomenon but also as a social one, where treatment is more than adherence and good quality of life is a goal in itself.
Ultimately, a person is an expert on their own needs. Healthcare providers and policymakers can best help people living with HIV and people at risk of HIV acquisition by centring their concerns, desires and experiences. Respecting people’s autonomy empowers them to take control of their health, promotes good quality of life, and instils hope.

Priorities to ensure Person-Centred Care

  1. Shift from disease control model of care to one focusing on the well-being of the individual seeking care
  2. Shift from strict biomedical understanding of HIV and co-morbidities to one which
    captures psychosocial and structural determinants of health, and incorporates quality of life
  3. Ensure a holistic, rights-based approach that centres people’s autonomy
  4. Build systems that integrate peer support workers into care models and service delivery
  5. Enable and listen to people living with HIV lead the dialogue about their health

Download a PDF of the Consensus Statement and Roundtable Summary Report.

Endorsing organisations

NAPWHA Research Webinar: Research into practice and Practice into Research

NAPWHA Research Webinar: Research into practice and Practice into Research

Research into Practice and Practice into Research was the last in a series of external webinars on different research methodologies and approaches, conducted by the NAPWHA Research Initiative.

In this webinar Dr Kirsty Machon and Dr Dean Murphy drew on over 20 years of work in the HIV sector to reflect on their experiences of collaboration and knowledge exchange between the HIV community sector and the HIV research sector. These collaborations and knowledge exchanges have shaped research, policy, health promotion and service delivery in Australia.

During the webinar Kirsty and Dean talked about

  • the value of using research to inform policy, health promotion and service delivery.
  • the challenges and barriers for the community sector in using and engaging with research (access and how research is curated and shared).
  • the role of communities and community organisations in shaping the research agenda (community knowledge, emerging issues and ‘intelligence from the field’).

“It has made me think about the motivations for participating in research, for example the reward might not be payment for participating but knowing that your participation is making a difference. And the importance of community being included in research design as well as outcomes.”
“This webinar on research into practice made me think more about what can be researched and what issues we should focus on.  It is clear to me after the discussion that there is a lack of attention being given to the increasing proportion of infections coming from heterosexual men and women.  The small scale of the number is obviously an influence but not a reason for not conducting research into the needs of these groups.”

Presenter: Dr Kirsty Machon (Positive Women Victoria)
Kirsty Machon is the Executive Officer of Positive Women Victoria and has been involved with HIV-related journalism, advocacy and policy development for over 20 years. Kirsty was the first female Chair of VAC (now Thorne Harbour Health) and has worked for AFAO and NAPWHA. She has also worked as a policy manager and CEO of an association representing health care professionals. As a consultant in the HIV sector, she has worked in strategic planning. She is committed to challenging HIV-related stigma in the community. Kirsty completed her doctoral studies in the History and Philosophy of Science.

Presenter: Dr Dean Murphy (Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health, and Society (ARCSHS), La Trobe University)
Dean Murphy is a Senior Research Fellow at ARCSHS, his work focuses on experiences of HIV diagnosis, stigma, biomedical HIV prevention technologies, sexual health and well-being, and the meanings of drug consumption. Dean has held research roles at the Centre for Social Research in Health at UNSW, the Kirby Institute at UNSW, and the University of Sydney and the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University. Dean has a long background in the HIV sector, having worked at AFAO for many years.

Facilitator:  Dr John Rule, NAPWHA   Discussant: Dr Jeanne Ellard

“The webinar today demonstrated the importance of community consultation and collaboration at the very beginning.  Otherwise, as we heard in the example from Cambodia, things can go very wrong.”
Long-Term Survivors’ Awareness Day 2023

Long-Term Survivors’ Awareness Day 2023

Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day is held annually on 5 June 2023. The day is an opportunity to celebrate and honour those diagnosed with HIV before 1996 when modern, lifesaving treatment was finally rolled out.

Since the early days of the epidemic, those living with HIV long-term have helped pioneer enormous change across HIV research, medial advancement, community engagement and policy development. We are thankful for the contributions they have made towards making the HIV sector what it is today. HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day is an opportunity for us to learn about their needs, issues, and journeys.

NAPWHA put a call out, asking long-term survivors to share a message with our community. We thank all those who participated in this campaign and encourage you to share their message.

Between 2-5 June 2023, NAPWHA used contributions from the community to create a digital campaign for Long-Term Survivors Awarness Day. Quotes were displayed on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter.

New Pharmaceutical Benefits (PBS) Prescribing Rules

New Pharmaceutical Benefits (PBS) Prescribing Rules

Update July 2023

Federal Government publishes first round of ‘cheaper’ PBS medications 

From September 2023 people living with multiple chronic health issues will have improved access to certain medications at reduced cost, benefitting many people living with HIV. 

Currently only one month’s supply is dispensed, and people must pay one copayment each month per script.  From September, eligible people will be able to collect two months’ supply of each approved medication for the price of only one co-payment, effectively halving the cost. 

The list of the first round of medications can be found here, with over ninety medicines that treat a wide range of conditions, including: cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, heart failure, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, gout, and osteoporosis.   

The Federal Government has given reassurance that two-monthly dispensing will not result in medication shortages. The necessary legislation will be voted on in the senate in July and is expected to pass without opposition.  

People should consult their prescribing doctor if they have any questions.

Australian Government announces changes to dispensing rules, improved savings for people taking multiple medications.

There are over six million Australians living with chronic illness who currently need to take multiple medications. They currently need to visit their pharmacy at least once a month, per medication, to have each prescription filled. These people, including many people with HIV (PHIV), currently pay at least one co-payment per prescription per month.

From September 2023 new Pharmaceutical Benefits System (PBS) prescribing rules will offer improved access to certain medications at reduced cost. These changes will apply to over 350 medications currently subsidised by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).  

Eligible people will be able to collect two months’ supply of each approved medication for the cost of only one co-payment, effectively doubling the amount of medication people can collect each time they go to their pharmacy, whilst halving the cost. 

 People living with diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, Crohn’s disease and hypertension will be among the first to benefit from these changes. People who pay the full dispensing fee (General Patients) could save up to $180 a year per medication, and concessions card holders could save $43.80 per medication each year. 

Also, people may need to see their doctors less often, and their doctor may be able to write a prescription that lasts for twelve months, before they need to see their doctor for another prescription. Eligibility will depend on whether the medication is included in this scheme, and if their doctor agrees to prescribe medication accordingly. 

Doctors may also need to take into consideration other factors, including whether someone is stable on their medication and does not need regular health monitoring. There could be other factors to consider, depending on the individual. People should speak with their doctors for clarification. 


Of the over three hundred medications currently approved for inclusion in this scheme, a little over one hundred will be available in September of this year. A further one hundred will be available in March 2024 and the rest will be available in September of 2024. 

The changes will not come into effect until September, so people have plenty of time to speak with their doctor to see if they can take advantage of these changes. Here is a link to list of the PBS listed medications currently approved for two months’ supply with one co-payment. It is not yet clear which medications will be among the first one hundred medications eligible for two months’ supply. 

Also, In January of this year the Federal Government reduced the maximum co-payment for a single prescription for general patients (no concessions) from $42.50 to $30. This is the largest reduction in the price of a co-payment in seventy (70) years. These cost cutting measures promise to save money and time for many Australians living with HIV. 

Candlelight Memorial Day 2023

Candlelight Memorial Day 2023

International AIDS Candlelight Memorial is on the third Sunday of May, this year falling on Sunday 21 May 2023. It is a time when members of the community come together and remember those who have passed from HIV/AIDS.

The HIV community response in Australia was built on the strong convictions of many people who are no longer with us. Candlelight is a time when we remember all those who have passed and thank them for the rich contributions they made to our lives.

NAPWHA thanks those who have shared personal tributes and encourages everyone to remember the names of people you have lost.

We encourage you to share these testimonies and remember all those who have passed.

Between 19 – 21 May 2023, NAPWHA used contributions from the community to create a digital campaign for Candlelight Memorial Day. Quotes were displayed on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter.

NAPWHA Research Webinar: Methods in social and behavioural research

NAPWHA Research Webinar: Methods in social and behavioural research

This webinar aimed to provide greater awareness of social and behavioural research methods and methodologies; to increase knowledge and understanding of the strengths and limitations of survey research; and increase knowledge and understanding of the strengths and limitations of qualitative longitudinal research. It was one in a series of research capacity building webinars being programmed by the NAPWHA Research Initiative. The webinar was facilitated by Dr John Rule, Senior Research Manager NAPWHA and Dr Jeanne Ellard joined the webinar as a discussant.

“After attendting this webinar, I would like to be more involved in HIV research – completing surveys, being interviewed, being part of an advisory group. As a worker in the HIV sector, a woman, and a peer I feel I have a unique and valuable perspective (as does everyone).” 

Dr James MacGibbon (Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW) a social and behavioural scientist researching HIV prevention and coordinator for the Gay Periodic Surveys, provided an overview of the strengths and limitations of survey research for understanding the HIV epidemic in Australia, including the kind of knowledge it produces and the ways that it can inform the HIV response in Australia.

Associate Professor Lisa Fitzgerald (School of Public Health, University of Queensland) a public health sociologist with research interests in the health and wellbeing of people experiencing marginalisation and the social determinants of (sexual) health and Associate Professor Allyson Mutch (School of Public Health, University of Queensland), a Senior Fellow in the Higher Education Academy, who uses qualitative methods to investigate the health and wellbeing of people who are socially excluded also gave a presentation. Lisa and Allyson outlined the strengths and limitations of using qualitative longitudinal research methods for producing new knowledge related to the experience of living with HIV in Australia; they also discussed ways in which this type of knowledge can be used to inform HIV health and wellbeing services in Australia.

“I really see the value in looking at people over time (longitudinal Qualitative),and appreciate the dedication, difficulties and complexities of this format – this provides a really interesting viewpoint across the historical contexts and how this might influence perceptions, care, issues, outcomes, etc – context is critical to take in to account when looking at any information.”