Darryl O’Donnell
Darryl O’Donnell, The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations

The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations warmly welcomes new commitments from Federal Labor to end Australia’s HIV epidemic and bolster the health of LGBTIQ+ people.

If elected, Labour has announced that it will establish a bipartisan task force to drive the effort to end HIV transmission and restore funding to peak organisations involved in the community-led HIV response. It will also fund a peer contact tracing pilot program and wrap-around clinical and peer support at diagnosis.

In a separate commitment, Labor will consult on the unique health issues and barriers to access that LGBTIQ+ Australians may face, with the assistance of organisations such as the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations.

AFAO chief executive, Darryl O’Donnell, said the commitments were a significant advance.

“We have made important strides in HIV prevention over the last five years, but progress is delicate and will stall without additional investment. These commitments provide a solid foundation as we attempt something quite remarkable, the end of Australian HIV transmission,” Mr O’Donnell said.

“We are now in the fifth decade of the HIV epidemic, but with the renewed political and financial commitment we can absolutely avoid entering a sixth.

“While LGBTIQ+ communities are resilient they have poorer overall health and are less likely to access health services. We warmly endorse the support of Labor health spokesman, Mark Butler, in understanding this challenge and identifying the need for additional support.”