Australia: Bill Shorten commits to $53m plan to 'make HIV history' in Australia

People at high risk of HIV would be given cheap access to a breakthrough preventative medicine under a federal Labor plan to make Australia the first nation in the world to win the fight against the virus that causes AIDS.

The opposition's $53 million plan would dramatically expand state trials of the drug PrEP until it is approved for a federal subsidy, increase funding for HIV peak bodies and tackle rising transmission rates in Aboriginal communities. 

Opposition health spokeswoman Catherine King will announce the package - which aims to bring the number of new HIV cases down from about 1000 a year to almost zero - on Monday, promising to deliver it if Labor wins the next election.

"In the 1980s the Hawke Labor government led the world with its response to the epidemic. Now, we need to renew the effort to make HIV history," Ms King said. 

Under the plan, state and territory PrEP trials will be expanded to an extra 17,500 people - allowing them to pay as little as $6.30 for a drug that can cost up to $1200. Labor's package would also restore $10 million a year to HIV peak organisations such as the AFAO and commit $3 million a year to reach, test and treat "hidden" pockets of the disease, including among Aboriginal people and non-English speaking migrants. Read more via Sydney morning Herald