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HIV experts to meet ministers in Canberra

More than a quarter of Australians living with HIV don’t have their virus suppressed, as experts call for a clear strategy to deal with issue.

They will gather in Canberra on Wednesday to meet with politicians and discuss key challenges around testing, treatment, prevention and discrimination.

There are 26,400 people with HIV in Australia, and last year 26 per cent of them did not have a suppressed viral load.

Of those 41 per cent were undiagnosed, 17 per cent were diagnosed but not in care, while the rest were in treatment but had not managed to suppress the virus.

Deborah Waterhouse, global chief executive of HIV company ViiV Healthcare, said bringing together experts with politicians would hopefully mean advances in care and better strategies.

“We believe that any policy or action in response to the HIV epidemic must be informed by the perspective of people with HIV,” she said.

Health Minister Greg Hunt, Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt and Labor health spokeswoman Catherine Hunt will address the meeting on Wednesday.

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