WA’s Governor General marks World AIDS Day, saying regular testing is vital

Kim Beazley, the Governor of Western Australia, has marked World AIDS Day by delivering a speech at a breakfast event held in Yagan Square.

WAAC, formerly known as the WA AIDS Council, hosted the gathering and the crowd heard speeches from dignitaries, politicians, health workers and people living with HIV.

“Your message has always been that HIV and other STIs are ever-present in the community, and practicing safer sex and having regular testing is absolutely vital.” the Governor said.

Highlighting that the organisation was recently awarded over 20million dollars of funding to help it achieve it’s mission over the next five years, Governor Beazley said the work conducted by WAAC would go a long way towards creating a positive healthy and connected community for all Western Australians.

The Governor said WAAC had a lot of respect from people within the Western Australian community, trust that had been built up through years of dedicated work.

“You are the people who took this on back in the 1980’s, and you developed the go-to-rep which is essential in the struggle, and when that happens very short, very spare tax payer funds go to you.” Governor Beazley said, noting that World AIDS Day was an important time to remember all the people who had been lost to HIV and AIDS over many decades.

Also speaking to the crowd was Labor’s Senator Louise Pratt who highlighted that one of the significant groups of people who made up the population of people with new diagnosis of the virus are new immigrants. Recent changes to federal regulations have allowed HIV treatment to be provided to all people in Australia who need it, even if they do not currently qualify for a Medicare card.

Senator Pratt praised the bipartisan support all sides of politics have shown over the decades in tackling the epidemic.

Graeme Watson

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