Thursday, 8 April 2021, 4:13 pmPress Release: Body Positive Inc NZ
We are calling on the government of New Zealand to
include People living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus
(HIV) as part of the group
3 vaccine rollout – people who are at risk of getting
very sick from COVID-19. We have reached out to the
Ministers of Health and the COVID response teams, but have
had no response thus far, beyond a recognition of receipt.
With the imminent opening of our borders to Australia and
beyond, we are at an increased risk of local outbreaks. It
is imperative that people living with HIV and other people
with compromised immune systems, are protected from serious
illness should they contract COVID.
By including
People living with HIV as part of Group 3, this would be
consistent with the guidance
provided by the government at alert level 3, that People
living with HIV have significant immunosuppression and
should remain at home, as they are at risk of severe illness
should they get COVID-19. It would also align with the
Australian Vaccine rollout, which has prioritized People
living with HIV to Group 1B, and who are currently being
vaccinated. This prioritization also aligns with the UNAIDS
Global AIDS Strategy 2021-2026, which states: When
developing priority population groups for vaccines against
COVID-19, the Strategy calls on countries to include all
people living with HIV in the category of high-risk medical
We are perplexed why the list of
health conditions for vaccine eligibility, is inconsistent
with all of these examples and also excludes most of the
people eligible for priority access to the annual Flu
vaccine. There are currently 3500 people estimated to be
living with HIV in New Zealand, this shift in priorities
would not adversely affect the vaccine rollout. It is vital
that People living with HIV are vaccinated as early as
possible to ensure they dont experience severe disease
and potentially
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