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What we do

AFAO's vision is 'Working together to defeat HIV and new HIV infections in Australia, Asia and the Pacific'.

We provide leadership, coordination and support to Australia's policy, advocacy and health promotion response to HIV and internationally we contribute to the development of effective responses to HIV/AIDS, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.

We do this work in collaboration with our members in accordance with the 7th National HIV Strategy and our international partners in accordance with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Strategic priorities for Australia's international response to HIV.

AFAO's work is directed primarily towards communities where there is a higher prevalence of HIV and groups at greater risk of contracting the virus.

This includes the groups identified as priority populations in the 7th National HIV Strategy:

  • people living with HIV (PLHIV)
  • gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • people from high prevalence countries and their partners
  • travelers and mobile workers
  • sex workers
  • people who inject drugs, and
  • people in custodial settings.

Our focus

Key health promotion activities

Key policy and advocacy activities

Key international activities

Publications and resources

How we are funded

AFAO Annual Report 2014-15 (PDF)

AFAO Media Strategy 2014-15 (PDF)


Our focus

Our focus is on capacity building, health promotion, and the reform of laws and policies impacting on HIV prevention and the care and support of people living with HIV.

This includes:

  • Providing HIV policy advice to national government and to the community, particularly on implementation of the Seventh National HIV Strategy, and complementary aspects of the Third Sexually Transmissible Infections Strategy and the Fourth National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sexually Transmissible Infections and Blood Borne Viruses Strategy
  • Representing our member organisations and the HIV community sector on national HIV policy-making and advisory bodies
  • Designing, devising and coordinating innovative national HIV prevention, positive education and health promotion campaigns
  • Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to develop targeted, culturally appropriate resources regarding sexual health
  • Developing strategic policy responses and interventions in the international HIV epidemic, particularly in the Asia Pacific region
  • Providing assistance and support to community groups and regional NGO networks in the Asia Pacific region
  • Promoting and participating in the ethical development and trialling of HIV vaccines and microbicides
  • Contributing, in collaboration with member organisations and research partners, to building evidence for an effective community response to HIV.



AFAO's key health promotion activities are:

  • developing and disseminating policy briefing papers and discussion papers on pertinent HIV prevention and health promotion issues;
  • coordinating and undertaking information and policy analysis, and providing advice to the staff of AFAO's member organisations on best practice in health promotion and adult learning;
  • developing HIV and STIs social marketing and health promotion campaigns and information-based resources targeting affected communities; and
  • creating and coordinating workforce development opportunities that build on and enhance the capacity of the staff of AFAO's member organisations.



AFAO's key policy advocacy activities are:

  • identifying and monitoring key HIV related policy issues;
  • providing briefings to federal and state/territory governments and their advisory bodies on HIV related issues;
  • supporting member organisations by preparing briefings and discussion papers, and by facilitating informed consideration on how best to address key policy and law reform issues;
  • coordinating, developing and preparing policy submissions;
  • supporting the development and coordination of capacity building initiatives for community-based HIV organisations and networks in the Asia-Pacific region; and
  • working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities regarding their HIV and sexual health needs.



AFAO's key international activities:

In 2015 Federal funding for the regional work conducted by AFAO and its members came to an end. AFAO is reviewing its International Strategy and seeking to ensure this important work continues.  

AFAO is currently working with key regional organisations APCOM and APCASO on a detailed proposal for the Global Fund to fund a regional program to support civil society engagement with South East Asian governments regarding the domestic financing of HIV programming for key populations, including MSM and transgender people, people with HIV, sex workers and people who inject drugs.



Publications and resources

AFAO produces a range of publications and resources, including briefing papers, fact sheets, a 'best practice' HIV Media Guide, e-bulletins and our flagship publication, HIV Australia.

Browse our publications in the library.





Our funding

Our funding is chiefly from the Commonwealth Department of Health and up until December 2015, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (under the Australian Aid program - formerly AusAID).






This page was published on 12 January, 2011

This page was reviewed on 15 March 2016