HIV Foundation Queensland to lose state government funding

The HIV Foundation Queensland won’t be funded past June this year, the state government has announced.

Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick announced on December 21 that as part of the government’s Sexual Health Strategy, a new Sexual Health Ministerial Advisory Committee would be created and that the HIV Foundation, created by the then-Newman Government in 2013, won’t have its service agreement renewed after its current one expires in June.

“The role of the new committee will also encompass HIV policy advice, which is currently provided by the HIV Foundation,” Mr Dick said in a statement.

“In line with the Strategy, the procurement of services by the HIV Foundation will be transferred to the Department of Health, which will procure services directly from the community sector.”

In a statement, HIV Foundation chair Dr Darren Russell pointed to recent data showing new HIV notifications in Brisbane for 2016 were at their lowest levels since 2008.

94 new cases were recorded for the Metro North and Metro South Hospital and Health Services last year, down from 105 in 2015 and 152 in 2014.

“The Foundation has a dedicated Board and operational team that have worked passionately in leading the implementation of Queensland’s HIV strategy over the past three years and many of the essential and innovative building blocks are now in place,” he said.

“Whilst the Minister has announced the formation of a new Sexual Health Ministerial Advisory Committee, at this stage of the HIV response, what is required is effective implementation like we have now. It remains to be seen just how this is going to happen after June 2017.”

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