WA AIDS Council releases MIPA Report and Action Plan

The WA AIDS Council (WAAC) has released a report into its operations following a 12 month consultation process with people living with HIV and affected communities.

The organisation’s chair, Asanka Gunasekera, said the extensive organisation wide audit of the WA AIDS Council’s programs and services was focused on how HIV positive people contribute to the work of the agency and what could be done to involve them more meaningfully.

The creation of the Meaningful Involvement of People Living With and Affected by HIV Report and Action Plan 2018-2019 (MIPA) involved the organisation’s board, staff from across all parts of the agency and key stakeholders. Gunasekera said no area of the agency’s operations had been spared MIPA’s investigative reach.

The work was carried out by seven community representatives alongside five members of WAAC’s staff and board.

The report found that organisation has many strengths including an elected board, successful peer education programs, support for the development of new leaders amongst people living with HIV, ongoing involvement in new research with multiple partners, support of advocacy groups, and the recent development of video programs that media campaigns that featured people who have HIV.

The organisation also identified many ways it could improve its operations in the future, including increasing the involvement of people living with HIV on steering committees and reference groups.

The report also notes that the ‘Undetectable = Untransmittable’ message has not been incorporated into all education campaigns including the work done in schools. The report suggests more distinct language is needed. It also recommends that more female perspectives are used in materials.

In future there will also be an emphasis on identifying people from marginalised communities who can act as ambassadors within their own communities.

The organisation will also remove retreats from its bequest policy as funding levels are not sufficient to provide for this kind of activity.

The organisation has pledged to foster meaningful involvement and active participation of people living with HIV by encouraging people to volunteer, apply for work with the agency or contribute to reference groups for specific projects.

The WA AIDS Council will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding with local community group POWA to create cooperative events and review the effectiveness of their relationship annually.

OIP Staff