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ViiV Healthcare Announces Recipients of Positive Action Community Grants

14 March 2022, Melbourne Australia: ViiV Healthcare Australia is proud to announce that five Australian community-based HIV organisations will receive funding from the 2021 Positive Action Community Grants (PACG) program.

The $200,000 fund has been distributed among projects that look to address quality of life for people with HIV (PLHIV), enhance relationships between PLHIV and healthcare professionals, improve HIV-related knowledge and enhance health system responses to achieve the best long-term outcomes for PLHIV.

In its 7th cycle, the Australian 2021 PACG program has awarded grants to:

  • Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) to develop and implement new HIV health promotion and workforce capacity building projects with Indigenous people.
  • HIV/AIDS Legal Centre to provide education on the legal requirements of disclosure for PLHIV.
  • National Association of People Living with HIV Australia (NAPWHA) to further develop the Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) resources.
  • Positive Women Victoria to host the Skills and Confidence Building course for women with HIV.
  • Queensland Positive People (QPP) to improve digital health literacy for geographically dispersed people with HIV across Queensland.

Ann Maccarrone, Community Engagement and Partnerships Manager at ViiV Healthcare Australia, believes that the PACG program provides vital funding to projects that look to improve the lives of PLHIV and those at risk of HIV.

“We’re proud to be supporting community led groups that share our passion for improving the lives of Australians living with HIV. The 2021 grants cycle will provide vital funds to projects that look to empower PLHIV and address the key issues the community faces,” said Maccarrone.

Research shows that health literacy can impact health-related outcomes among people living with HIV.1 ViiV Healthcare recognises the importance of continued HIV related education and as such all projects receiving funding from the 2021 grants cycle include a focus on education within the community and priority populations.

Darryl O’Donnell, CEO of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) and Adjunct Professor at UNSW believes it is vital to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and healthcare professionals with the right tools and resources to help respond to HIV and STIs.

“While Australia’s HIV treatment and prevention effort is world-leading, not everyone is benefiting. We have not made enough progress supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The most powerful HIV responses are grounded in the values and practices of communities. These resources will strengthen the HIV response for Australia’s First Peoples,” said Adjunct Professor O’Donnell.

AFAO is partnering with the Anwernekenhe National HIV Alliance (ANA) on the project. Colin Ross, Chair of the ANA, believes Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities will benefit greatly from HIV programs crafted specifically for them and by them.

“We are committed to working in partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health sector and AFAO to fulfil this innovative work. It is vital both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and healthcare workers have access to HIV-related education, prevention, testing and management strategies to ensure an effective response. This is an important initiative that we warmly welcome,” Mr Ross said.

Alexandra Stratigos, Principal Solicitor at HIV/AIDS Legal Centre (HALC) says that by providing easy to understand information on the legal requirements of disclosure in NSW we can help reduce the emotional strain of disclosure for PLHIV.

“It is vital that PLHIV have access to easy-to-understand information about the legal requirements of disclosure, especially as they can vary between states and territories. Our PACG funding will enable us to equip PLHIV with the knowledge and tools needed to navigate the complicated legal requirements of when they do, or in most cases do not, need to disclose their status. This in turn can reduce the stress and anxiety around disclosure, and reduce the risk of unnecessary disclosure.” said Stratigos.

ViiV Healthcare believes treatment success cannot be determined by viral suppression alone, and that quality of life for PLHIV should be recognised globally as a key measure of success. As such three projects receiving funding from the 2021 grants cycle focus on improving quality of life for PLHIV.

Brent Clifton, Senior Project Officer at National Association of People Living with HIV Australia (NAPWHA) believes that its important PLHIV are given opportunities to build their confidence and become active members of the HIV community.

“The funding from the PACG program will help us develop additional resources and educational materials for the Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI). The PLDI aims to build the resilience, confidence and leadership skills of PLHIV and highlight how they can help advocate for their community,” said Clifton.

Kirsty Machon, Executive Officer for Positive Women Victoria, says the PACG funding will help the organisation to further support and empower positive women by focusing on building their confidence and highlighting how the sharing of personal experience can help bring about change.

“Reaching your Potential is designed to build confidence and skills for women living with HIV who want to contribute to the HIV response, in whatever way is meaningful for them. Through a series of workshops which focus on things like communication, and what advocacy means, women can learn how their own personal experience can be used to make change, both for themselves and for others.” said Machon.

Christopher Howard, Executive Programs Manager at Queensland Positive People, says that access to care and connection is vital to improving quality of life for PLHIV and should not be dependent on location.

“At Queensland Positive People, we believe connectedness to care and access to community support is essential to successful treatment of HIV. Our PACG funding will be used to deliver a series of digital workshops for PLHIV in regional areas. The workshops aim to improve digital health literacy, increase engagement with health care providers and foster a sense of community belonging for geographically dispersed PLHIV across Queensland,” said Howard.

Established globally in 1992 and introduced in Australia in 2015 the Positive Action Community Grant program looks to fund community-based projects that reach those most affected by, or at risk of HIV, particularly in marginalised, hard to reach or vulnerable communities.

For information and interviews:

Sarah Rumsey
Palin Communications
sarah@palin.com.au
0488 060 047
Aphroditi Zafiropoulos
Palin Communications
aphroditi@palin.com.au
0408 518 013

About ViiV Healthcare

ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established in November 2009 by GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) dedicated to delivering advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV and for people who are at risk of becoming infected with HIV. Shionogi joined in October 2012. The company’s aims are to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV/AIDS than any company has done before and take a new approach to deliver effective and innovative medicines for HIV treatment and prevention, as well as support communities affected by HIV. For more information on the company, its management, portfolio, pipeline, and commitment, please visit www.viivhealthcare.com.au

For information on ViiV products or to report an adverse event involving a ViiV product, please contact GSK Medical Information on 1800 499 226. ViiV Healthcare Pty Ltd. Level 3, 436 Johnston Street, Abbotsford VIC 3067. ACN 138 687 448. Trademarks are owned by or licensed to the ViiV Healthcare group of companies. © 2020 ViiV Healthcare group of companies or its licensor.

References

  1. Gray C, Crawford G, Lobo R, Maycock B. Getting the right message: a content analysis and application of the health literacy INDEX tool to online HIV resources in Australia. Health Educ Res. 2021. Accessible at: https://doi.org/10.1093/her/cyaa042

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