Tuesday, 1 December 2015
World AIDS Day
The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the minister representing the Minister for Health questions about World AIDS Day and public health service provision for people with HIV/AIDS.
The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: As members may well be aware, today is World AIDS Day, as it is every year on 1 December. The aim of the day is to raise awareness across the world and in our local community about the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS, including but not limited to prevention, tackling stigma, and providing services to people already living with HIV/AIDS. It is a day to show support for people living with HIV and to commemorate those who have unfortunately been lost to the condition.
Here in South Australia, SA Health has made a significant change to service provisions in programs for HIV/AIDS prevention and support for people who are HIV positive. Despite their excellent engagement with the HIV positive community, programs previously run by Positive Life SA were not awarded the tender—as members would know from my previous contribution in this place—following a new tendering process this year. The successful program run for, I believe, some 30 years, is a collaborative approach between the Victorian AIDS Council and SHine SA and is now called the South Australian Mobilisation and Empowerment for Sexual Health (SAMESH). My questions to the minister are:
1. Given that organisations like Positive Life were run by a board that was 100 per cent HIV positive but are no longer funded, what efforts are being made to include people who live with HIV in the newly funded programs?
2. Are there any peer-led aspects or board to the SAMESH program as there was in Positive Life?
3. While prevention of HIV/AIDS is, of course, vital, support for those who have already acquired HIV is also essential, particularly given the stigma that still exists in 2015; what is the newly funded SAMESH program delivering for South Australians currently living with HIV/AIDS?
The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister for Science and Information Economy, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Business Services and Consumers): I thank the honourable member for her most important questions and will refer them to the Minister for Health in another place and bring back a response.