The first meeting of the ACT AIDS Action Committee was held in 1983 when a group of gay men living in the ACT met to respond to the looming AIDS crisis. This group then formalised and established itself as the AIDS Action Council of the ACT in March 1985. The AIDS Action Council of the ACT became an Incorporate Association in 1986.
Within a year of being established, the Council recognised the need to work closely with the affected communities. Specific projects were established for gay men, injecting drug users, sex workers and people with haemophilia. Care teams, treatments information and counselling were provided to people with HIV and AIDS and their significant others. From this time also, general community awareness, information and advocacy became vital work for the agency.
With the changing decade it became increasingly clear that most cases of HIV in Australia were the result of male to male sexual contact. Independent services such as ACTIV (ACT Intravenous League), WISE (Workers In Sex Employment) and the Haemophilia Foundation ACT were providing services for their respective peer groups and the Council more clearly focussed its prevention services towards gay and bisexual men. At this time, services were added to deliver broader HIV education and health promotion directly to people with HIV/AIDS.
Today, the Council is a public benevolent institution assisting people impacted by HIV. The Council provides a variety of services, education programs and works to raise awareness of HIV to reduce stigma and educate on the importance of prevention, treatment and testing through events, communications and working with affected communities. We are proud of our diverse workplace and those who work here.
The AIDS Action Council of the ACT is an incorporated association under the Associations Incorporation Act 1991 and registered as a charity under the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission Act (Cth) 2012.
The Council is a public benevolent institution established to assist people impacted by HIV. We do this through the provision of services, on the basis of need, to relieve suffering of people affected by HIV and AIDS which includes the provision of:
- mental health services
- social support services
- legal advocacy
- assistance obtaining medical treatment
- general advice
- financial and other emergency assistance
We advocate on behalf of the community of people affected by HIV and AIDS, campaigning and undertaking programs to reduce the incidence of HIV and AIDS by fostering a supportive community.
The Council is led by the Executive Director who works closely with the Board of Directors.