Four Australian organisations have received a share in close to $155,000 worth of funding for their HIV programs.
The funding, provided by ViiV Healthcare’s Positive Action Community Grants (PACG), will support organisations in leading community programs that address stigma, discrimination and barriers to testing, treatment and care for those with HIV.
According to ViiV, more than 44 per cent of Australians with HIV will be over the age of 55 by the year 2020, and this is expected to create urgent challenges for the nation’s ageing and disability sectors.
Now in its third year, the grants were this year awarded to the National Association of People with HIV Australia, Living Positive Victoria, Queensland Positive People and Positive Women Victoria.
ViiV Healthcare Australia’s Community Affairs Manager Oonagh Rocks said the selected programs had aims such as addressing retention in care, building resilience, improving quality of life and helping those from African communities.
“Ensuring our future response to HIV is effective and relevant requires the meaningful involvement of people living with HIV; that’s why, at ViiV Healthcare, we believe it is crucial that communities have the resources to develop and implement programs that are relevant to their community members,” he said.
“By allocating vital funds where they are needed most, we hope that a real, lasting and positive impact on Australia’s HIV community can be achieved.
The most recent Kirby Institute Annual Surveillance Report published in 2016 shows a gap in the provision of support for those with HIV. Data shows that of those diagnosed, 15 per cent are not in care, 25 per cent are not on antiretroviral therapy and 31 per cent per cent do not have controlled virus levels.
At least 50 per cent of women diagnosed with HIV were found to come from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and HIV stigma also remains a debilitating feature for those living with the virus.
More information about the grants can be found at: www.viivhealthcare.com.au.
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