On Thursday the 16th June Living Positive Victoria and its partners, including the Victorian AIDS Council, VicPrEP and PrEP Access Now among others launched their Double Happiness Campaign. This is the marriage of Treatment as Prevention (TasP) and PrEP.
TasP is where a person who is HIV-positive uses anti-HIV drugs to reduce the virus in their bloodstream to an undetectable level. Although HIV is still present in their bodies, it is so low that passing on HIV through sex is highly unlikely (by at least 93%).
PrEP is where a person who does not have HIV takes anti-HIV drugs to prevent them becoming HIV-positive. When taken daily and with regular three monthly sexual health check-ups, it reduces the risk of getting HIV by at least 99%.
Together TasP and PrEP provide HIV-positive and HIV-negative people the opportunity to both take steps to prevent HIV transmission.
Minister for Health Jill Hennessy spoke of the power to prevent new HIV transmissions using TasP and PrEP in todays' society and was followed by a member of the Positive Speakers Bureau and a PreP user. This launch sends Victoria into a new era of HIV healthcare and is fast becoming a world leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS.