No, there’s no shortage of HIV drugs in Australia due to COVID-19


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Experts have again reassured Australians living with HIV there are no shortages of medications due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Association of People with HIV in Australia (NAPWHA) have advised there is “no risk to supply and no need to stockpile.”

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“Despite continued assurances that supply is not, nor is it likely to be compromised, rumours to the contrary persist,” NAPWHA said.

But they advise Australia has “enough of the medication to keep us all going for the long haul.”

“The pharmaceutical companies that supply antiretrovirals (ARVs) in Australia have given assurances there is no shortage,” their advice states.

“There are enough HIV treatments in the country right now to meet the needs of people with HIV for many months.

“Stock-outs or delays in re-stocking ARVs at a local pharmacy don’t mean that national supply is limited.”

NAPWHA has published an extensive online factsheet providing advice to people living with HIV during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The advice states it is vital for people with HIV to continue treatments as prescribed and don’t reduce doses.

“People with HIV should not skip doses or share medication with friends worried about their own supply,” the advice states.

“Prescriptions for ARVs are currently limited to two months’ supply at a time and this is standard for everyone.”

Excessive stockpiling of medication beyond this may lead to unnecessary shortages, NAPWHA warns.

Keep up your medical appointments during COVID-19

NAPWHA also urge people to maintain regularly scheduled medical appointments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However patients should also consider asking doctors about telehealth consultations.

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People with HIV can also discuss with their local pharmacist about mailing their medication to reduce trips.

The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) also recommend keeping one month’s supply of essential medications at home.

AFAO advise anyone taking PrEP for HIV prevention to discuss any changes to their regimen with their doctor to ensure safety, as with any medication.

New South Wales-based ACON has also published an extensive information hub for LGBTIQ Australians during COVID-19.

Areas covered include sex, PrEP, trans and gender diverse people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, mental health, alcohol and drug support and more.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.