10 Feb 2020

Up-to-date research on HIV prevention vital - AIDS Foundation

7:11 am on 10 February 2020

New government funding will allow for much-needed HIV research that has not been done for years, the AIDS Foundation says.

A bottle of "PrEP" ( Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). used to prevent HIV, on white background.

PrEP, also know as Truvada, helps protects against the HIV virus. Photo: 123rf

The government yesterday announced $300,000 for Ministry of Health research that will support the AIDS Foundation's work into HIV eradication.

Rates of HIV and STI testing would be studied, along with sexual behaviour, and the use of anti-HIV medication.

AIDS Foundation chief executive Jason Myers said not having up-to-date research about peoples' attitudes towards HIV prevention had made its job harder.

"It's been six years since we've had answers to those questions, which makes it increasingly difficult for us and others in the sector to really target our messages effectively, so delighted at the announcement that that research will take place again."

Jason Myers said direct funding of the AIDS Foundation had been largely static for nearly a decade.

"So, while the epidemic has become more complex and while there are an increasing number of issues facing the communities that the AIDS Foundation serves, we're able to do less and less with the resources and capacity that we have."

He hoped some of the research would look at community awareness of HIV-related drugs.