2017 has been a big year!
As the year draws to a close, I want to thank all our funders, supporters, peers, members, colleagues, friends and most importantly clients, who have worked with and alongside us in 2017.
The central focus of our work, this year, remained on HIV transmission and supporting people impacted by HIV. This year we have seen some of the most critical developments in the HIV epidemic since records began. This year, we have seen historically high rates of testing, earlier treatment than ever before, and the emergence of the enormous prevention benefits from two key biomedical approaches to HIV prevention, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and early treatment.
Our work to advance the lifelong health of LGBTI people also continued this year, with broad ranging initiatives in the areas of aged care, inclusive workplaces and the introduction of MATE a program designed to empower communities for preventing violence. We have worked to support the LGBTI communities through the postal survey and what a privileged time to be in the business of supporting and strengthening LGBTIQ communities. Never before in our history, has there been such an amplified national conversation about the value of marriage and relationship. As a society we have said clearly that we value love and commitment, and we want everyone to be able to publicly and legally recognise that commitment, if they want to. We have provided increased access to qualified counselling and group support for LGBTI communities with an innovative multifaceted model that provides choice, access, empowerment and accountability.
The Council is committed to delivering effective and efficient activities. We want the organisation as a whole to make a valuable contribution to Australia’s response to HIV and LGBTI Health. In order to ensure that we are continuously improving, this year we have implemented an organisation-wide monitoring and evaluation system. The Council is an organisation with a unique and critically important role: however, we can only do this work with the participation and commitment of our staff, volunteers, members and supporters, partners in government, research and critically – our communities.
On behalf of the AIDS Action Council board, management team, practitioners and amazing staff we wish you a safe, fun and hope filled festive season and best wishes for 2018.