NAPWHA pays our respects to Noel Offer who sadly passed away recently, and her loved ones are in our thoughts at this time.
PrEP & HIV advocate Steve Spencer delivered this tribute to her lasting legacy in HIV Prevention:
“Noel Offer’s impact on the world’s response to PrEP is immeasurable. I doubt that any of the community-led PrEP access schemes would have been possible without her and the work of Green Cross Pharmacy. Noel gave us the tools, the know-how, and the actual pills to get grassroots organisations like PrEP Access Now (PAN) off the ground years ago before any government or HIV organisation would help, most of all she gave us the hope that it was possible — we could change people’s lives. The work of people like Noel along with local activists forced the hand of governments to take PrEP seriously, which alongside U=U has resulted in massive drops in HIV diagnoses in Australia. A small pharmacy in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) would help change the landscape of HIV prevention in this country. Personally, her work helped me get PrEP when no trial was available, when it cost $1000/month in pharmacies, and when doctors were still saying it didn’t work. Her work helped us change the game and give hundreds, if not thousands of Australians access to PrEP when no one else would, and she helped people get the drug for free when they couldn’t afford it — Noel turned absolutely no one down. The world has lost a quiet giant, but her legacy lives on through the thousands of lives that have been changed in this new era of HIV prevention.”