After serving the HIV community for 21 years, Positive Life SA (PLSA) is to be defunded by the South Australian government. A public tender process was initiated late last year for new contracts to service the HIV community in SA, and PLSA failed in its bid.
“Following a competitive tender process, preferred suppliers were identified,” said an SA Health press release. The Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) and SHine SA are to jointly take over the state’s HIV/STI prevention program.
In response, PLSA president Geoff Hood has called on VAC to withdraw from “the illogical consortium partnership” with SHine. “Positive Life SA must receive the necessary funding to enable it to continue its current model of best practice support to PLHIV,” said Hood.
PLSA has launched an online petition in an attempt to persuade the SA government to reverse its decision and reinstate $400,000 in funding. It states: “PLSA is unique. It is the only funded organisation in SA driven by HIV-positive people. This SA Health decision silences the voices of the HIV community in South Australia.” The defunding of PLSA is due to take effect on 30 June.