HIV drug announcement expected at Big Gay Out celebrations

  • 11/02/2018
Rainbow flag
Rainbow flag. Photo credit: Getty

Organisers of Auckland's Big Gay Out are hoping this year's event will be capped by an announcement on a drug that will help reduce the spread of HIV.

Local and national politicians are expected at the annual event at Pt Chevalier's Coyle Park, which kicks off at midday on Sunday.

The New Zealand AIDS Foundation is hoping, by the end of the day, Pharmac will make an announcement on funding of PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis).

The once-a-day pill is taken by someone who is HIV-negative and at high risk of HIV, to prevent catching the virus.

"We now have all the tools we need to end HIV transmissions,” says foundation executive director Jason Myers. “it's up to us now to empower New Zealanders to take action and end HIV."

The Ending HIV campaign aims to end HIV transmissions by 2025 through the use of PrEP, condoms, finding undiagnosed infections and immediate treatment for those diagnosed.

"Events like the BGO are the perfect place to bring a big proportion of the community together and make sure everyone understands how they can play a role in ending HIV," Dr Myers said.

"We need the LGBTQI community to be as educated as possible on recent breakthroughs and to foster a sense of community, so that we can support each other - especially those living with HIV."