In a ground-breaking move the Ministry of Health has directly funded an HIV positive people's peer support organisation, breaking the decades-long monopoly of the NZ AIDS Foundation on Government funding of support for people living with HIV and AIDS. The change comes after months of negotiation between Body Positive and the Ministry, with extra impetus for the change provided by last year's Miller Report into HIV services. Dr David Miller recommended that the support work of community-based HIV support organisations such as BP be funded and GayNZ.com understands at least two other smaller organisations have also received some funding. Peer support groups have historically had to rely on increasingly unreliable hand to mouth funding sources such as fundraising, donations and charitable trusts. Now BP has a guaranteed $100,000 per year for two years towards the salaries of its four employees and to help with administration costs. "This is a momentous occasion," says BP CEO Bruce Kilmister of the contract, which was signed off last week and made public yesterday. "It will give us the financial security we have long needed. Whilst we have seen tremendous support from the glbt community it has not been enough to sustain the overheads we live with daily." Of all the peer support groups Body Positive has the greatest workload as by far the majority of people living with HIV in New Zealand are gay and bi men who are its primary constituency. You can discuss this New Zealand glbt community news story in the GayNZ.com Forum.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Tuesday, 8th February 2011 - 2:47pm
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