Monday 19 March 2012

Ian Rankin opening address at Positive Serves Forum 2012

Ian Rankin, AFAO president,  gave the opening address at the forum. He spoke about the new HIV prevention targets Australia has committed to, saying that in order to achieve them part of our work is to attract, convince and support many thousands more people living with HIV to commence treatment.

Forum participants position themselves in the HIV response
during the Forum opening session.
Ian warned that, although stopping the HIV epidemic is technically within our reach, this cannot be achieved without affecting  behavior change; we need to educate people about the need to test regularly and link people into care as early possible. We need to educate people without creating confusion or false expectations, and be mindful that people's lived experience may not match the technical possibility of what is possible.

He said that it would be wonderful if we could eliminate HIV transmission in our community in the near future, but this will not change the fact that people will still be living with HIV. People living with HIV deserve our support and respect and we must continue to meet their needs.

We need to continue to hear feedback from all people involved in delivering care and support so that we can continue to innovate and try new approaches.  

 Tell us your thoughts about what traditional approaches are still working well, and suggestions for new approaches where things could be improved.

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