New funding for AIDs testing around the state

QUEENSLAND'S Health Minister Lawrence Springborg today announced free HIV testing will be expanded across the State, as part of AIDS Awareness Week.

Minister Springborg said an after-hours, peer-based HIV testing clinic will commence early in 2014 from the ground floor of the Biala Community Health building in Roma Street.

"This free, rapid point-of-care testing clinic will be run by Community HIV Education and Prevention Officers and hosted by Queensland Positive People (QPP)," Mr Springborg said.

"Queensland Health is also supporting the introduction of HIV point-of-care testing in some GP clinics that see a high caseload of people at risk of HIV infection."

Minister Springborg was responsible for closing the organisation originally tasked with fighting AIDS, the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities.

Last year 206 Queenslanders were diagnosed with HIV infection, the highest figure since HIV figures were officially recorded in Queensland.

World AIDS Day on Sunday 1 December will also mark the official commencement of the new HIV Foundation Queensland.

"The foundation will provide advice to the Government on HIV/AIDS strategy, facilitate and promote research and ensure Queensland leads the nation's fight to 'E.N.D. H.I.V.'," Minister Springborg said.

"The foundation will also monitor Queensland's nation-leading free, point-of-care, rapid HIV testing program which has already reached 500 untested and most at risk Queenslanders since June."

Parliament House, the Story Bridge, QPAC and Conrad Treasury will all turn red this week as part of AIDS Awareness Week to support the estimated 35 million people living with HIV and AIDS worldwide