How to get free HIV treatment in Australia without Medicare

By Oli McAuslan, updated 6 days ago in Health / Sexual health

Everyone should be able to get HIV treatment. We’re here to show you where to get yours for free.

In Australia, Medicare is a government system that subsidises medical procedures and treatments.

People living with HIV in Australia who don’t have Medicare can access HIV treatment from government-funded hospital pharmacies.

Is HIV treatment free in Australia? Even without Medicare?

HIV treatment is free for people who have Medicare in Australia. It is also free for most people without a Medicare card at public hospital pharmacies. This includes people on student, travel, or temporary work visas.

Some states (South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria) may charge a small co-payment fee (from $15 to $31.60 per month). Many states also provide delivery services if you do not live near a public hospital pharmacy. Find information for your state or territory here.

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Where can I find free HIV treatment (with a prescription) in each state?

Use this map to find a public hospital pharmacy that can give HIV treatment. Click on the green ‘Public hospitals’ pins.

You can also read more about free HIV treatment in each state here.

What is HIV treatment?

Effective HIV treatment prevents the virus from multiplying in the body. Most guys starting HIV treatment will take just one pill every day.

HIV treatment can help you sustain an undetectable viral load (UVL). This means controlling the amount of virus in your body so that it is not harmful to you. Remember that undetectable = untransmittable (U=U). Staying undetectable keeps you healthy, minimising chances of picking up other infections and eliminates the possibility of sexually transmitting HIV to other people.

If you have been recently diagnosed with HIV, starting treatment as early as possible helps protect your long-term health.

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How to start HIV treatment

1. Talk to a peer

You can access free HIV peer support from trained community members also living with HIV who can guide and connect you with HIV services and support. Contact NAPWHA on 1800 259 666 to speak to an HIV peer support worker in confidence.

2. Talk to a doctor

Peer support workers can refer you to an HIV-trained doctor who can discuss the best HIV treatment medication for you. You can also find these doctors using this map. Search for “S100 HIV treatment” services.

3. Collect your free HIV treatment from public hospitals and attached pharmacies