Acon Mark Orr
President Mark Orr

Australia’s peak body for HIV advocacy will now be Health Equity Matters.

This new identity reflects its growing role as an advocate for the broad health needs of LGBTIQA+ people and marginalised communities.

First established as the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations in 1985, the organisation’s focus has expanded recently.

“We are changing our name to reflect better the challenges faced by LGBTIQA+ people and communities affected by HIV today,” President Mark Orr said.

He said LGBTIQA+ people and marginalised communities affected by HIV still experienced poorer physical and mental health than the general population.

“The services and support are there, but the access for all is not. The right to equitable health access is a human right.” Mr Orr said this reality must be reflected in the design and delivery of health policies.

Health Equity Matters CEO, Darryl O’Donnell, said ending HIV transmission remained the peak body’s main purpose at the core of ending health inequity for all LGBTIQA+ people.

Health Equity Matters honours those we have lost to HIV and who are living with it today while supporting the work of member bodies focusing on areas of health inequality,” Mr O’Donnell said.

“This includes stigma, discrimination, and unacceptably high rates of ill mental health, social isolation and suicide.”

Health Equity Matters’ new logo combines the HIV ribbon with a healthcare cross to reflect the vibrancy and diversity of LGBTIQA+ people and communities affected by HIV.

The rebrand will roll out over the next three months.