Slacking HIV Responses Recieves a Boost

Australia’s once world-leading approach to HIV is under scrutiny from critical assessors, who state that the current response to the issue is becoming stagnant.

The report Turning Political Will into Action claims that a lack of leadership and investment has created a lack of communication surrounding the area.

‘Australia’s HIV response has slowed and opportunities are being missed’, the report said.

‘Unfortunately, by 2012, the HIV partnership has been undermined by a lack of certainty, limited investment, ineffective communication, mechanisms and poor leadership’.

After a national rise of HIV cases by eight percent – the report is being used as a blueprint for revamping the slowing Australian response to HIV.

Addressing the issues that have idled responses to the HIV growth, the report insists that better communication between the government, researchers and health groups is pivotal. Other improvements include dissolving legal barriers as well as faster testing and treatment.

The report was preceded by the Melbourne Declaration last month, which discussed the state of HIV in the country; the Declaration recommended a goal of reducing HIV transmissions by fifty percent come 2015.

Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek launched the report and emphasised that work was already underway in regards to improving access to rapid testing facilities. Criticism has arose surrounding figures that show only $13 million was allocated to HIV research after the transmission increase was revealed.

Although no other action was taken, a spokesperson for Plibersek promised that ‘this funding will support research that will boost our knowledge of HIV’.

The document will officially be launched in WA on World AIDS day, the CEO of WA AIDS Council Andrew Burry discussed the importance of launching the report –

‘The reason for this document is that it’s all well and good what we’re currently doing, we might create a stable rate [of transmission] but there won’t be reduction.

‘Priority actions need to be given more priority’.

Nadine Walker

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