Friday 30 November 2012

World AIDS Day 2012 - Recharging our Response

In the lead up to World AIDS Day,  leaders of two community HIV organisations, one in Sydney and one in Bangkok, reflect on future directions the HIV response needs to take.

Both say we must capitalise on opportunities presented by new HIV treatments and technologies and latest scientific evidence, sustain advocacy around funding at both a local and global level and maintain peer-led responses that focus on providing prevention, care and support for at-risk and affected communities.

Recharging our response to HIV - Rob Lake, Executive Director of AFAO

Rob Lake discusses next steps for revitalising Australia's HIV response. He says in the current environment we have all the tools we need; the challenge now is around increasing access and maximising their use.

He says we can break the cycle of new infections through regular testing, early diagnosis and access to treatments. HIV testing rates can be increased by making the process of testing simpler, easier and faster by employing strategies set out in the Melbourne Declaration. HIV related stigma continues to affect all communities and must be addressed through fostering supportive non-judgemental attitudes and supportive legal environments.
Read his full statement on

Backing the community response - Midnight Poonkasetwattana, Executive Director of APCOM

Midnight Poonkasetwattana says that recent progress on HIV in the Asia and the Pacific is at risk of being undermined by a lack of funding and apathy ('AIDS fatigue').

He says current treatment options, coupled with new scientific understandings present us with a 'golden opportunity' to address the extremely high rates of HIV amongst men who have sex with men and transgender people in Asia and the Pacific, and yet funding for prevention, treatment and support for these communities remains woefully inadequate. Addressing this requires coordinated action and advocacy from all players across the region.
Read his full statement at

For World AIDS Day activities around Australia visit AFAO's World AIDS Day page

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