The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations has welcomed the appointment of a new Australian ambassador for HIV, malaria and tuberculosis.
The Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, has announced that James Gilling will succeed Murray Proctor in the role.
Mr Gilling is currently First Assistant Director General, Policy and Sector Division, AusAIDAustralian Agency for International Development. Australian Government agency responsible for managing the Australian Government's official overseas aid program. .
"Given Mr Gilling's Experience in foreign aid and development, we're confident he will be a strong advocate for prevention and treatment programs that target these three diseases," AFAOAustralian Federation of AIDS Organisations. AFAO is the peak non-government organisation representing Australia's community-based response to HIV/AIDS. AFAO's work includes education, policy, advocacy and international projects. Executive Director, Rob Lake said.
"Australia has a superb record of providing leadership on HIV prevention, treatment and the legal and human rights that enable HIV Prevention and treatment to work effectively and efficiently. AusAID, the ambassador and Australia’s development partners have a tremendous opportunity to build on that by promoting treatment, human rights and prevention programs in the region.
“AFAO welcomes Mr Gilling to the role and looks forward to working closely with him. The Next few years present significant challenges in meeting our goals to reduce HIV transmission and increase access to HIV treatments in our region. In particular, the escalating HIV epidemics amongst gay men and men who have sex with men in all the major cities across the region requires urgent attention.
“AFAO Looks forward to working with AusAID and the Ambassador to respond to this and other issues including the impact of HIV/TB co-infection in countries such as PNGPapua New Guinea.”
AFAO has also extended warm thanks to Murray Proctor, who steps down from the position after holding it since 2007.
"Murray Proctor has been a clear voice for millions in our region who often have no one to speak up for the rights and needs of people living with or at risk of contracting HIV and developing AIDS.
"AFAO wishes to place on record its gratitude for his hard work and its impact, over the last five years."
Further comment: Rob Lake 0421 040 538 Further info: Nick Lucchinelli 0422229032
PDF of media release attached below for downloading.