Meridian increases access to appropriate, quality support services for people living with and impacted by HIV and AIDS in the Canberra region. We promote peer to peer activities for HIV positive people, deliver client support and advocacy services, and provide counselling services. Meridian also promotes programs with partner organisations, and conducts targeted health promotions for our communities.
We provide individualised support and advocacy for people living with HIV to improve health and wellbeing outcomes. We seek to reduce HIV transmissions and increase awareness of and access to HIV treatment options. We promote relevant research programs and the HIV/AIDS commemoration initiative.
We promote safe and accessible events for HIV-positive people. We are contributing to the creation of a safe community through eliminating stigma and discrimination based on sexuality and HIV status.
Whatever your case and however HIV/AIDS has impacted you, we can support you.
Links to our HIV Services pages:
If you have any questions or concerns contact us or call 02 6257 2855.
Living with HIV
Getting a diagnosis of HIV will be life-changing. It can be a time of fear and uncertainty. The important thing to remember is that HIV and AIDS are no longer a death sentence in Australia. We are fortunate to have access to effective treatments that can help to suppress the virus and minimise damage to the immune system.
The health effects of HIV can take years to appear without treatment. This is why, if not tested, many people do not find out they have HIV for many years. Late diagnosis and a delay in treatments can make long-term health harder to achieve. A diagnosis within 12 months of becoming HIV positive and treatment uptake shortly after provide the best results for health.
HIV Support in the ACT
For people living with HIV in and around the ACT, Meridian offers a range of support and social services. You may speak with an HIV Positive Peer Support Worker to find out how we can support you on your journey.
Call us on 02 6257 2855 and ask to speak to one of our Peer Support officers.
You can also email us [email protected]
You can find out more about Meridian’s programs and support through the following links:
Meridian supports HIV positive people to develop nurturing relationships, and enjoy a safe and satisfying sex life. With the success of antiretroviral treatments positive people can now feel certain that an undetectable viral load removes risk of HIV transmission from their sexual life. For some people this new information can challenge long held beliefs and fears about HIV and safer sex. HIV negative people now have a wide range of options for approaching safer sex with their partners, either positive or negative.
Meridian provides people living with HIV and their partners with all the information and support to make confident decisions about how to keep each other safe.
Access to HIV Medication
Meridian is committed to ensuring that all people living with HIV in the Canberra region have access to HIV treatment. If you are new to the ACT and looking for HIV prescribing doctors and pharmacy providers, we can provide advice. The Canberra Sexual Health Centre provides free and professional HIV medical service for all people including anyone without Medicare. Several private General Practitioners in ACT are also HIV specialist prescribers, but many have limitations on accepting new clients. In ACT, HIV Medications can be purchased with prescription at PBS rates (or reduced rates for people with health care card) for people who have Medicare.
Medicare ineligible people (such as international students, working visa and other visa status) will be provided HIV care at Canberra Sexual Health Centre. Medications can be provided under compassionate grounds through a program administered by the ACT government and the medication suppliers. The doctors at CSHC can provide advice on how to access this program.
Call Canberra Sexual Health Centre: 02 5124 2184
If you have concerns about accessing HIV care or treatments please contact us or call 02 6257 2855.
HIV and the Law
In the ACT, you do not need to disclose your HIV status to your sexual partners as long as you take ‘reasonable precautions' to mitigate the risk of HIV transmission. We encourage where it is appropriate that everyone have open discussions about their HIV and STI status.
If you have a legal question around HIV and employment, insurance or another issue, please call, and we will endeavour to find the answer for you or make an appropriate referral.
You may also like to try the Legal Aid ACT Help Line: 1300 654 314.
The telephone helpline is an immediate option for people who want to find out more about their legal choices. It’s open Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 5.00 pm.
In the unlikely event that your privacy is breached or compromised by staff employed by a chemist, you will need to raise the complaint with the chemist. If you feel your complaint and/or concerns are not resolved to your satisfaction, you can lodge a complaint with one of the following agencies:
For a range of reasons, a person living with HIV might find themselves putting other people at risk of HIV. This is not going to be the case with the vast majority of people living with HIV. When it does happen, it is referred to as ‘knowingly infect’.
In February 2007, the Chief Health Officer issued a set of guidelines to be followed by doctors, nurse practitioners, counsellors and those responsible for the care and support or education of a person with HIV if they become aware that an HIV positive person appears to be knowingly placing others at risk of infection with HIV. These guidelines are not intended to put full responsibility for limiting the transmission of HIV onto positive people; this responsibility rests with both positive and negative individuals. Still, they may help to change the behaviour of those positive people who repeatedly put others at risk.
The process is based on the ACT Public Health Act 1997 and involves counselling, education and support in the first instance, leading to further measures if this fails. Legal orders would be used as a last resort.
If you require more information about HIV and the law in Australia, contact:
HIV and Ageing
HIV can cause a range of complications as you get older that you might not otherwise experience or ageing conditions that occur earlier than expected. You can get a better understanding of the long-term effects of HIV and HIV medications at yourbodyblueprint.org.au for HIV and ageing.
Our HIV Peer Support service can provide advice and health advocacy through these challenges, including connecting with appropriate health care services and advocating for government supports. Meridian’s Aged Care Navigator service is also open to people living with HIV. This service helps people to navigate My Aged Care, aged care home support services and residential aged care providers, among other things.
If you have any questions contact us or call 02 6257 2855.
Find out more information about our Aged Care Navigators.