The peak body representing Australians living with HIV has welcomed the official launch of the Sixth National HIV Strategy this morning, but warned that without an effective implementation plan, the strategy’s goals cannot be achieved.
“NAPWHA, its member organisations and the broader HIV partnership have supported the development of this new strategy,” said National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS (NAPWHA) President Robert Mitchell, “but we are now focused on ensuring that achievements will match expectations.”
Implementation plans are required to enable the goals articulated in the national strategy to be turned into meaningful actions for the government, community, clinicalPertaining to or founded on observation and treatment of participants, as distinguished from theoretical or basic science. and research sectors that together make up the national HIV partnership. The development of implementation plans is still ongoing, and frameworks for robust monitoring and evaluation of the activities associated with an Australian HIV response over the next four years is still needed.
“The objectives articulated in the Sixth National Strategy are laudable, but without an implementation framework they risk being nothing but good intentions. It’s critical the government partners provide leadership beyond a surveillance and health protection approach,” Mitchell said. “Otherwise the implementation plans will not take advantage of the valuable innovations which can be secured with broader collaborations based on sound program logic and identified priorities. Community sector organisations are key partners in the response and the implementation plans must embrace this.
“The launch of the Sixth National Strategy presents a rare opportunity. As partners in the national health response, community sector and NGO organisations are ready and eager to get started on the direct work needed to deliver on its goals, and the evaluation and reporting process that will make those outcomes measurable and accountable to the Australian community.
It’s time to be clear on the milestones and targets we will be working towards, and how we will know when we have got there.