Living Positive Victoria is a proud recipient of a Positive Action Community Grant (PACG) from ViiV Healthcare that will allow the organisation to place a peer liaison officer in four high HIV case load clinics across Melbourne.
“The immediacy of peer contact for people newly diagnosed with HIV cannot be understated, not only providing support for the individual at a crucial time, but increasing the likelihood of PLHIV remaining in care and not being lost in follow up. Our PACG grant will go a long way in supporting us to improve treatment outcomes for PLHIV in Victoria,” said Suzy Malhotra, Acting CEO Living Positive Victoria.
The most recent Kirby Institute Annual Surveillance Report shows that of those living with HIV 90 per cent are diagnosed, but 15 per cent are not in care, 25 per cent are not on antiretroviral therapy and 31 per cent do not have controlled virus levels. The new peer liaison officer will hopefully address these gaps and support retention in care for PLHIV.
“We are fortunate in Australia to have multiple tools and programs to support PLHIV. We will continue to be proactive and offer programs and services that address any gaps in care, and support people at whatever stage they are at on their HIV journey,” said Malhotra.
Living Positive Victoria continues to work closely with each high case load clinic and anticipates the peer liaison officer to start by early 2018.
Living Positive Victoria is one of four organisations to receive a PACG along with the National Association of People with HIV Australia (NAPWHA), Queensland Positive People and Positive Women Victoria. Each grant supports the implementation of programs to respond to issues facing all PLHIV and reduce the impact of HIV in Australia including barriers to treatment and testing, and HIV stigma.