Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

HIV Patients Hide in Fear; Central Queensland's Health Catchment Last Year Saw Its Biggest Increase in HIV Diagnosis since 2011. in 2014, Seven People Were Given the News They Had the Virus. in 2013, Six People Were Diagnosed. There Were Fewer Than Five Cases in 2012 and 2011 and Eight Cases in 2010. There Were 245 New Notifications across Queensland in 2014

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

HIV Patients Hide in Fear; Central Queensland's Health Catchment Last Year Saw Its Biggest Increase in HIV Diagnosis since 2011. in 2014, Seven People Were Given the News They Had the Virus. in 2013, Six People Were Diagnosed. There Were Fewer Than Five Cases in 2012 and 2011 and Eight Cases in 2010. There Were 245 New Notifications across Queensland in 2014

Article excerpt

Byline: Sherele Moody APN NEWSDESK

FEAR of stigma and discrimination is forcing many regional and rural Queenslanders with a serious illness to boycott local health services.

Health experts told APN Newsdesk many HIV-positive locals refused to get their medications from the region's chemists because they were scared of being outed as having the disease.

They also hid their HIV status from local doctors, nurses and other medical professionals for the same reason.

In July, the Federal Government made it possible for HIV-positive people to collect their antiretroviral therapy medications from community pharmacies.

Before that, the scripts could only be filled by hospital chemists.

Pharmacy Guild of Australia spokesman Greg Turnbull said privacy was in the forefront of PGA members' minds.

"The guild is aware of understandable concerns about privacy associated with these medicines," MrTurnbull said.

"People should be aware that they can talk to their pharmacist confidentially and ask for a conversation to take place in a private space where appropriate."

Dr Darren Russell, the State Government medic charged with leading Queensland's response to HIV, said a 24-month region-focused campaign was paying dividends with more people being tested for the disease. …

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