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Saturday 11 April 2015


The NZAF's Christmas message

Posted in: Health & HIV, Features
By Shaun Robinson - 19th December 2014

As the silly season approaches, New Zealand AIDS Foundation Executive Director Shaun Robinson says while 2014 has been a big year for the organisation, continued vigilance in the prevention of HIV and STIs is needed.

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“Have lots of fun this summer everyone, including as much sex as you choose. As you have fun though, Love Your Condom, because HIV is still out there and is holidaying with its friends—syphilis outbreaks and hard-to-treat gonorrhoea!”

Robinson says 2014 has been a year of new science around the role of medications and the ongoing importance of condoms.

“But it’s been the year of untreatable gonorrhoea reaching Sydney and of syphilis outbreaks in the NZ gay community; the year of new aspects to the epidemic, in particular persistently high Asian HIV diagnoses in New Zealand.”

Robinson acknowledges highlights of 2014—new faces, such as Mark Fisher taking up the role of CEO of Body Positive, giving long standing heroes like Bruce Kilmister a well-deserved break.

He says the NZAF’s Hui Takataapui was the best attended ever and was supported by the Maori King. The World AIDS Conference was in our backyard and NZ’s prevention strategies were acknowledged among the best in the world.

“We end the year with 30 years of community solidarity around AIDS celebrated at exhibitions around Auckland.

“Unfortunately,” Robinson concedes, “2014 has also been a year where more men and women got HIV when that could have been prevented. So despite doing well, it's not good enough.”

“It's time for some rest and recuperation over Christmas, remembering to have fun and keep safe. Then we’re back to the struggle to put an end to HIV and AIDS for good.”

NZAF holiday close-down times:
National office: Closes 19 December, re-opens 5 January
Burnett Centre Auckland, Āwhina Centre Wellington and Te Toka Christchurch: Close 19 December, re-open 12 January

 

Shaun Robinson - 19th December 2014

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