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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Health
    The Honourable Lawrence Springborg

    Advisory Group Takes Control of QLD HIV/AIDs Campaign

    Minister for Health
    The Honourable Lawrence Springborg

    Friday, July 06, 2012

    Advisory Group Takes Control of QLD HIV/AIDs Campaign

    Queensland Minister for Health Lawrence Springborg has unveiled the newly-formed Ministerial Advisory Committee on HIV AIDs that will take control of community awareness about the disease across the State.

    Announcing the membership of the nine-person committee today, Mr Springborg said the new structure had an important responsibility to reverse a steep increase in Queensland HIV/AIDs infection rates.

    According to the 2011 Kirby Institute Surveillance Report, Queensland’s HIV diagnosis rate increased to 5.4 per 100,000 people in 2010, almost doubling from 2.8 in 2001. Over the same period, other states apart from WA recorded a decline or relatively stable infection rates.

    “Queensland is signed up to Commonwealth and UN targets for reductions in HIV transmission,” the Minister said. “The UN target is a 50% reduction by 2015. Australia’s target is an 80% reduction.”

    The new committee is to be chaired by the Director of the Cairns Sexual Health Service, Dr Darren Russell. His committee will take charge of a $2.6M budget formerly allocated to a non-Government provider, (Queensland Association of Healthy Communities).

    “I look forward to chairing the Ministerial Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDs,” Dr Russell said today. “Challenging times lie ahead, especially with new trends in testing and treatment, which may well be part of the future to reduce the numbers of new HIV infections in Queensland.”

    Mr Springborg urged the committee to make good use of renewed community awareness about HIV/AIDs to spread the message about safe sexual practices and other effective anti-HIV strategies.

    The Committee will meet for the first time in the next fortnight. Its members are:

    Chair: Dr Darren Russell - Director Sexual Health Service, Cairns
    HIV/AIDS physician. Dr Russell has worked in the field of HIV medicine since 1990 and has a very thorough knowledge of HIV/AIDs prevention strategies. Currently the Director of Sexual Health Cairns Health Service, he also holds the position of Clinical Associate Professor, School of Population Health, Melbourne. He was National President of the Australian Federation of AIDs Organisations (2003-2006).

    Simon O’Connor - HIV/AIDS Service Provider , Brisbane.
    Simon is the Executive Officer of Queensland Positive People and represents People living with HIV/AIDs . Simon’s experience in this field dates back to 1984.

    Candi Forrest - sex worker advocate Brisbane.
    Candi has worked with QLD sex workers since 1987 when the sex industry first embraced HIV prevention strategies. Candi holds a Masters of Anthropology and Sociology, and has developed networks with workers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

    Penny Kenchington - Sexual Health Nurse Practitioner Townsville .
    Penny was the first Sexual and Reproductive Health Nurse Practitioner in Queensland. She has had 17 years’ experience in the field of sexual health. She is a member of the Australian Society of HIV medicine and the College of Nurse Practitioners.

    Professor Jeffrey Gow - social researcher, public health Toowoomba.
    Professor Gow has a PhD in Health Policy and Economics. He has more than 12 years’ experience in public health research into HIV/AIDs and was principal investigator on numerous HIV research studies and programmes. He has been published more than 50 times and worked as a consultant on HIV/ AIDS to international bodies and governments such as UNAIDs, World Health Organization UNICEF and the South African Government.

    Dr Andrew Redmond - HIV/AIDS physician Brisbane.
    Dr Redmond is a HIV physician in practice at a major metropolitan teaching hospital. He has significant expertise and experience in relation to HIV therapy and prevention.

    Wendell Rosevear OAM - HIV/AIDS physician Brisbane.
    Dr Rosevear has worked in HIV/AIDs since 1985. He helped establish the Queensland AIDS Council. A General Practitioner providing services to the gay and lesbian community, he is an active and respected member of the gay community.

    David Graham - Small businessman, rural advocate Goondiwindi

    David has a background in media and small business. He has been an advocate for rural and remote gay and lesbian health. He has used his media presence to promote good health and HIV/AIDs awareness campaigns. David has strong links with the gay and lesbian community.

    Elisha McGuiness - Health promotion (ATSI), public health Townsville

    Ms McGuiness holds a Masters of Public Health. She has a professional background in sexual health promotion and public health. She is the Senior Public Health Officer – Indigenous Health and Senior Indigenous Sexual Health Promotion Officer based in North QLD.

    Ends

    Media Contact: Cameron Thompson 0407-585230
    Dr Darren Russell (07)42264769