Older people with HIV – New South Wales

Older people with HIV – New South Wales

This is a list of services available for older people with HIV living in New South Wales.

Positive Life NSW: Ageing Support Program

The Positive NSW Ageing Support program offers one-on-one support for anyone living with HIV over 45 years across NSW (metropolitan, rural or regional) to navigate and access the aged care, disability and/or healthcare maze and to find the services they need.

Phone: (02) 9206 2177
Freecall outside metro areas: 1800 245 67
Email: contact@positivelife.org.au

The age criteria is 45 and older, due to benefits accruing to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients. However, most clients are 65 and older. The program has been operational for a number of years, as part of its peer navigation framework. Positive Life NSW receives support from ViiV Healthcare in the form of a grant to facilitate the delivery of the Ageing Support (Silver Warriors) program.

There is a focus on social determinant of health, such as housing distress, which 9% of 11,000 PLHIV in NSW have accessed. Referrals are accepted from other PLHIV, friends and family, or via allied health and housing sector staff. Staff and client explore homecare support, healthcare services, financial or disability assistance possibilities, navigate through the government assessment, and help to overcome barriers or hurdles experienced along the way.

The focus of support could be:

  • Navigation support for MyAgedCare, including finding providers who can do a HIV-sensitive Aged Care Assessment through an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT)
  • On Assessment, you get a unique referral code for various type of services: eg Respite, Home care
  • The services encompasses various services under the Home Care package. These include help with occasional jobs around the home, needing a little extra daily help around the house and providing transport for outings, shopping and appointments.
  • Support can also be arranged if you are wanting some respite while caring for a partner or parent; or needing support after a fall, illness or a stay in hospital.
  • The program can provide assistance when you are thinking that it’s time to explore options for residential aged care.

Bobby Goldsmith Foundation: Community Support Services

BGF operates in NSW, including in Sydney inner-city, Northern Rivers and Western Sydney. There is also a program in South Australia. All BGF programs are supported through fundraising.

Approximately 60 per cent of BGF clients are over the age of 50. They benefit from all of the programs:

Community Support Services

Community support – providing support in the community – is the BGF flagship service. Community Support Services team visit and care for people in their homes, delivering brokered care and disability support services through the NDIS. They also accompany people to medical appointments, and as they go about their daily lives for example:

  • Medication prompts (HIV and other co-morbid conditions)
  • Appointments (transport, reminders, prompts, reporting)
  • Assistance with daily living (shopping, cleaning, meal preparation, self-care prompting)
  • Psychosocial support that addresses issues of isolation, mental health support, coaching to wellness and engagement with their community.

Bobby Goldsmith Foundation: Financial Counselling 

This is also one of BGF’s longest running and most effective programs, and has clear benefits for older PLHIV.

Bobby Goldsmith Foundation: Case Management

Case Management is a collaborative process that empowers people to live the life they want, through support tailored to their specific goals. It provides individualised, case-by-case support to PLHIV who have complex needs or challenges in their lives. The support model is based on The Flinders Program – a self-management model based on cognitive behaviour therapy, problem solving and motivational interviewing. Services include navigating complex systems such as My Aged Care, NDIS, Health and Centrelink. There is also alcohol and drug counselling which could benefit older PLHIV.

Bobby Goldsmith Foundation: Health & Wellbeing Programs

BGF’s Health and Wellbeing programs provide an opportunity to connect with other people with HIV and to share experiences, meet new people and cultivate new skills. Free for all people living with HIV, programs include yoga, healthy eating, art therapy and excursions. Besides the particular programs, the benefit lies in social connection, and the forming and rekindling of friendships. The outcome is a safe, supportive network of people with a shared experience of HIV, gaining knowledge and skills that enable them to take better control of their lives and help reach their personal goals.

Bobby Goldsmith Foundation: No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS)

The NILS program provides PLHIV with financial assistance in the form of no-interest loans to purchase home appliances.

Bobby Goldsmith Foundation: Homeless Support

With a particular focus on people with alcohol and other drug (AOD) backgrounds, this program works closely with the Haymarket Foundation to support PLHIV dealing with homelessness.

BGF also works a great deal with NSW Health, which operates on the basis that HIV is now a chronic manageable condition and that PLHIV should be able to access all mainstream services.

ACON: Home-based care

Through ACON’s Community Support Network (CSN), its team of trained volunteers provide practical assistance to help people with HIV live as independently as possible in their own homes. Services include:

  • Basic cleaning
  • Grocery shopping
  • Doing the laundry
  • Meal preparation
  • Light gardening
  • Transport to and from medical appointments

To be eligible for home-based care, clients need a diagnosis of physical or cognitive impairment as a result of, or in the presence of, HIV infection resulting in impaired capacity for independent living.

An assessment is required to access home-based care. A CSN Care Liaison Officer will arrange to meet with the applicant, usually at their home, to explain how CSN can help and decide what services are needed. For more information or to undertake an intake assessment:

ACON: Care Coordination

Care Coordinators are allied health professionals who can help clients with multiple and/or complex needs to:

  • Access relevant healthcare and support services
  • Increase their ability to manage their care and treatment
  • Reduce social isolation

Care coordinators work with clients over three months to develop a care plan and provide support to help clients achieve their goals and meet their needs. The service is free and confidential. Needs may include:

  • HIV
  • Mental health
  • Alcohol and/or drug use
  • Housing
  • Family/domestic violence
  • Finances
  • Legal

Priority is given to PLHIV, and people at risk or affected by HIV.

For more information or to undertake a brief intake assessment, contact ACON’s Sydney office by phone on (02) 9206 2000 to enquire about making an appointment click here.

The Care Coordinators work:

  • in Sydney at the ACON office in Surry Hills
  • the Taylor Square Private Clinic
  • the Holdsworth House Medical Practice in Darlinghurst
  • the Hunter and Northern Rivers regions of NSW – to be assessed for these regional services, people should contact ACON’s Hunter or Northern Rivers offices or submit an enquiry.

    ACON: LOVE Project – Living Older Visibly & Engaged

    The Living Older Visibly and Engaged (LOVE) Project is ACON’s ageing initiative. It aims to empower older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) communities, including people living with HIV, to lead healthy, active and more social lives.

    Older PLHIV are invited to join the LOVE community for:

    • Healthy ageing information
    • Events and activities
    • Sharing stories and experiences
    • Make new friends
    • Finding LGBTQ welcoming services

    A clear benefit for older PLHIV is social connection with other community members of a similar age.

        HIV/AIDS Legal Centre Inc. (HALC)

        HALC provides free and comprehensive legal assistance (within operational guidelines) to people in NSW with HIV or Hepatitis-related legal matters.

        Advice can be sought Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm.

        Phone: 02 9206 2060

        Email: halc@halc.org.au

        Address: 414 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010

            Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service

            The Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service (MHAHS) works with culturally diverse communities and with health services in NSW to reduce the impacts of HIV and viral hepatitis. The service employs staff from more than 20 language groups from priority African, Asian, European, Middle Eastern and Latin American communities.

            Location: Level 1, 300 Bridge Road, Forest Lodge NSW 2037
            Phone: (02) 9515 1234
            Freecall outside metro areas: 1800 108 098
            Email: info@mhahs.org.au
            Follow MHAHS on Facebook

            Older PLHIV can benefit from the services MHAHS provides:

            • Multilingual information on HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C
            • Media campaigns in partnership with the ethnic media
            • Community engagement
            • Workforce development
            • Health promotion – a range of HIV and viral hepatitis health promotion initiatives targeting priority CALD communities. Conducted in partnership with key community and sector based agencies these include developing information in community languages, community education, forums and other community engagement activities.

                Adahps: HIV cognitive impairment support 

                Adahps (formerly the AIDS Dementia and HIV Psychiatry Service) provides a range of services to assist people who have HIV-related cognitive impairment and complex health needs.

                Location: 301 Forbes Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
                Phone: 9382 8600
                Email: adahps@health.nsw.gov.au
                Hours of operation: Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm

                Adahps provides a free, confidential service for NSW residents. A range of services is provided.

                Case management

                Case managers provide support to overcome health and other issues, along with assistance to develop and implement a treatment, care or support plan.

                Neuropsychological assessment

                An assessment can detect cognitive impairment and the cause of these symptoms.

                Brokered care

                This services involved the funding of care workers for people who need support to live as independently and be as healthy as possible

                Peer support and education

                The Adahps team has expertise in areas including HIV, psychiatric nursing, alcohol and other drugs, clinical psychology and neuropsychology, social work and counselling, accommodation and working with individuals with complex and challenging medical and social needs. They are happy to share their skill and experience by providing education and training along with assistance developing and implementing a treatment, care or support plan.

                    Albion Street Centre: Ankali Project

                    The Ankali project has been running since 1985. It provides support to socially isolated PLHIV who come from diverse backgrounds, and with different life experiences. A consumer must be someone living with HIV or a partner or family member of someone living with HIV. All potential consumers are assessed by an Albion Social Worker. If they are deemed appropriate for volunteer support, they are matched with a volunteer who is provided with training and ongoing support.

                    Consumers may be experiencing one or more of the following issues:

                    • social isolation
                    • grief and loss
                    • mental health-related issues
                    • alcohol and other drug-related issues
                    • a time of significant change.

                        Albion Street Centre: HIV and ageing online course

                        The Albion Street Centre provides a five-week interactive, facilitated online course providing skills and resources for health and community workers with older, HIV-positive clients.  Recognising that, by 2025, over 50% of people living with HIV will be 55 years and older, the course equips providers to work holistically with older PLHIV. The training is supported through an educational grant from ViiV Healthcare.


                              Pozhet (Heterosexual HIV Service) is a NSW wide service for PLHIV who identify as heterosexual, together with their partners and family. Services include:

                              • Confidential support
                              • Information on useful services
                              • Meeting other PLHIV
                              • The latest information on HIV and living with HIV
                              • Online connection

                              Location: 103 Redfern St, Redfern NSW 2016.
                              Freecall: 1800 812 404
                              Phone: 9395 0444
                              Email: pozhet@pozhet.org.au
                              Mail: PO Box 3159, Redfern NSW 2016

                              Operating hours: Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm

                                  Senior Rights Service

                                  Seniors Rights Service is a community organisation dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights of older people, particularly vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.

                                  Location: Suite 201 / 418A Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010
                                  Web: info@SeniorsRightsService.org.au
                                  Freecall: 1800 424 079
                                  Phone: 02 9281 3600
                                  Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) 13 14 50
                                  National Relay Service 13 36 77 (then ask for 02 9281 3600)

                                  The services it offers:


                                  Provides free legal advice on many legal issues to older people in NSW, as well as a comprehensive referral service.  The organisation offers general legal advice, as well as advice on retirement villages and strata living.


                                  Provides information and support to people using, or seeking to access, in-home and residential aged care services. Our aged care advocates are located across NSW to provide support for recipients of all Commonwealth funded aged care services.


                                  Targeted rights-based information online and in print to a diverse range of older people regardless of cultural background or sexual orientation. Our advocates, solicitors and education staff travel across NSW to hold information sessions.

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