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Strategic Directions

AFAO: Leaders in the HIV community response


Strategic Directions 2011 - 2017

AFAO’s strategic plan, Strategic Directions 2011 – 2017, was developed following consultation with AFAO member organisations, staff and stakeholders. It maps out directions for AFAO and reflects a shared vision for AFAO's future.

In light of a range of emerging issues, the release of the UN Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, Action on HIV - the 2012 Melbourne Declaration and the conclusion of the Sixth National Strategy, AFAO reviewed its strategic plan.

After extensive consultation with a range of external stakeholders, and a robust strategic planning workshop, the result is Strategic Directions 2011-2017.

Strategic Directions 2011-2017 provides a refreshed direction for AFAO, acknowledging the status of the epidemic, new science and Australia's current and ongoing response to HIV prevention and the care and support of people living with HIV.

Download full document (PDF - 140kb)

Our vision; our purpose

Working together to defeat HIV and new HIV infections in Australia, Asia and the Pacific.

 

Our role

Our work

The partnership

Priority communities

Our member organisations

Values which guide our work

The way we work

 

 

 

Our role

AFAO is the national federation for the HIV community response. We provide leadership, coordination and support to Australia’s policy, advocacy and health promotion response to HIV/AIDS. Internationally we contribute to the development of effective policy and programmatic responses to HIV/AIDS at the global level, particularly in Asia and the Pacific.

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Our work

AFAO's work focuses on:

  • Providing HIV policy advice to national government and to the community, so as to facilitate 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;
  • Ensuring representation of 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, and addressing emerging issues such as injecting drug use;
  • Developing and advocating strategic policy responses and interventions in the international HIV epidemic, particularly in Asia and the Pacific;
  • Providing assistance and support to community groups and regional NGO networks in Asia and the Pacific;
  • Promoting and participating in the ethical development and trialling of emerging biomedical prevention technologies; and
  • Contributing, in collaboration with our Member Organisations and research partners, to building evidence for an effective community response to HIV.

Our funding is chiefly from the Commonwealth Department of Health; other sources include the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (under the Australian Aid program - formerly AusAID) and private donations.

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The partnership

The Seventh National HIV Strategy makes explicit reference in its Guiding Principles to the pivotal role that the partnership between people living with HIV, affected communities, the healthcare professions, researchers and government has played “at all levels” of the national HIV response”, and notes the need to ensure maintenance of that partnership. AFAO will work to ensure the continuing centrality of the partnership approach.

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Priority communities

AFAO’s work is primarily directed towards population groups where HIV or the risk of HIV is most prevalent or where there are significant emerging issues, namely: 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.

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Our member organisations

AFAO's membership comprises of community leadership at the National and the State/Territory levels.

Our national organisation members are:

  • Anwernekenhe National HIV Alliance (ANA)
  • Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL)
  • National Association of People with HIV Australia (NAPWHA)
  • Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association

These are separate, peer-based national organisations in their own right. Each represents a priority population and has its own independent governance and consultation processes from which it draws its expertise and leadership.

AFAO works in partnership with these national organisations to utilise and complement their policy and advocacy expertise and leadership.

Our State/Territory members are the AIDS Councils and former AIDS Councils which lead the HIV community response in their respective state jurisdictions, and collectively support the national response. They are:

  • ACON Health (NSW)
  • AIDS Action Council of the ACT (AACACT)
  • Northern Territory AIDS & Hepatitis C Council (NTAHC)
  • Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC)
  • Tasmanian Council on AIDS, Hepatitis & Related Diseases (TasCAHRD)
  • Victorian AIDS Council (VAC)
  • Western Australian AIDS Council (WAAC).

AFAO works in partnership with these AIDS Councils and former AIDS Councils, drawing on their policy, advocacy and programmatic expertise across the eight jurisdictions and their targeted work with gay and other affected communities.

AFAO also has a growing group of Affiliate Member organisations who want to work closely with AFAO and our Member Organisations.

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Values which guide our work 

At the centre of our work is our commitment to:

  • respecting the dignity of all people
  • respecting and valuing diversity and promoting the equality of all people
  • acknowledging the special place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first Australians and respecting their communities’ traditions, views and ways of life
  • empowerment of HIV-positive people and affected communities and supporting their ownership and self-determined control of the response to HIV/AIDS
  • enhancing the human rights of all communities and populations affected by HIV
  • promoting and supporting harm reduction principles and the Ottawa Charter
  • recognising the social determinants of health
  • building and facilitating evidence-informed approaches to policy development, advocacy and health promotion; and
  • being accountable to the communities we are part of - which we work with, represent and serve.

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The way we work

In delivering our work programs, we seek to:

  • advocate for policies, services and programs that address the needs of specific communities in the broader context in which affected communities and populations experience HIV;
  • value and ensure the involvement of affected communities in our own work, and advocate for affected community involvement in the HIV response more broadly;
  • ensure that activities are well matched to the needs, culture and values of particular communities and population groups affected by HIV;
  • work in partnerships built on clear roles, common objectives, reciprocity and mutual trust
  • consult closely with and draw on the knowledge and expertise of our member base;
  • complement the strategies of our member organisations, while mutually respecting each other’s independence and acknowledging differences;
  • consult closely with and complement the work of our international partners, while respecting their independence and local knowledge;
  • develop policy through transparent and inclusive consultative processes, recognising the specific expertise of the national organisation members of AFAO;
  • communicate widely, connecting our partners to our work and ideas; and
  • be independent and non-party political.
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This page was published on 12 January, 2011

This page was reviewed on 20 February 2015