Over the past year we have made progressive steps towards a new approach to the HIV response within Australia. These steps mark the beginning of a mobilisation towards more effective prevention and treatment strategies and position the HIV partnership within a new framework for action.
In 2012, the number of newly diagnosed cases of HIV infection increased by 10%; adding potency to the challenge faced by all partners in the sector. Every public health program and community initiative must now be scrutinised to ensure the trends we are seeing are reversed.
With the 7th National HIV strategy currently in development, there are essential elements which must be included. More testing options must be priority. We need to encourage treatment and provide better access to it. We need to provide preventive technologies to those at highest risk.
We need to be on top of shifts in trends and address critical areas. We must all hold ourselves accountable.
I look forward to working together with the NAPWHA membership over this next period. This is the time for us to see some dramatic changes in the national HIV response and to reshape it for the benefit of those central to it: people living with HIV.