We work with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA+) communities in Australia and overseas to reduce new HIV infections and improve the lives of those living with HIV. Our work also aims to address the discrimination and inequality that many LGBTQIA+ people face, which can have devastating impacts on health and wellbeing.
We aim to improve the lives of gender and sexually diverse people, especially those living with, or at risk of HIV. We work closely with LGBTIQA+ communities to ensure our work responds to communities’ emerging health needs and lived experience, whilst also being based on evidence.
Our primary aim is to see a reduction in new HIV infections and improve the lives of people living with HIV in Australia and internationally. We do this by conducting new research and converting findings into applied HIV prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Our work also focuses on social wellbeing and mental health. Commonly a result of their experiences of homophobia, transphobia or queerphobia, young people from LGBTIQA+ communities are at a significantly higher risk of experiencing poor mental health, lack of support, social isolation and depression, compared to the general population. Experiences of transphobia have a devastating impact on the wellbeing of transgender young people in particular – 80 per cent have experienced self-harm and almost half have attempted suicide by the age of 24.
Our approach to this work includes:
- continuing and growing our collaboration with people living with HIV, in order to guide our work
- improving our understanding of HIV risk and protective behaviours for at-risk populations, by expanding our research and use of bio-behavioural surveillance systems
- implementing projects that demonstrate the most effective ways to expand HIV testing, treatment and primary prevention
- working with governments and civil society to strengthen health systems and reduce social discrimination and legislative marginalisation of LGBTIQA+ communities and people at-risk of HIV.