QPP was established in 1989 and incorporated in 2003 as a community-based and peer-led organisation to provide peer and social support and advocacy for people living with HIV (PLHIV).
We are now a multi-disciplinary team committed to improving the quality of life of PLHIV and reducing new infections of HIV and STIs across Queensland with the vision of delivering whole of life programs to meet unmet needs in the community.
QPP attained Queensland Health Services Quality Standards accreditation in 2021. QPP is largely funded by the Queensland Department of Health and has recently signed a service agreement until 2026. QPP currently employs 32 staff in two office/clinic sites in Brisbane and in regional centres and provides outreach services across Queensland.
QPP is an active participant in HIV research, advocacy, and policy development on topics such as HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care; HIV discrimination and the law; and social stigma and isolation. We champion peer models of care and human rights principles.
QPP provides a growing range of programs and services including:
- peer-led HIV and STI point of care testing;
- HIV self testing;
- peer navigation (i.e. assistance navigating the complex environment of HIV diagnosis, disclosure, treatment and care);
- case management support for PLHIV with complex needs including practical assistance and referral to other essential services (clinical care, mental health, food and housing);
- emergency funding for PLHIV experiencing financial hardship;
- legal assistance and referral for HIV stigma and discrimination;
- the annual World AIDS Day Awareness Campaign; and
- advocacy, policy development, public health campaigns and research.
While 2021/2022 marked the significant milestones of 40 years since HIV/AIDS was first identified, and 32 years since QPP was established, it was a year of new and exciting chapters for QPP in many ways.
Following approval by a Special General Meeting in November, QPP has been investigating options for future areas of growth and how to meet the unmet needs and service demands identified by PLHIV across Queensland. The QPP Engagement Survey 2021/2022 captured the valuable insights of QPP’s community members and clients.
President and CEO Update
Associated operational reforms and capacity building have continued , with developments in human resources, governance, financial management and quality systems – all critical infrastructure steps as we pursue new and emerging service challenges.
We started the year with a fresh QPP Strategic Plan 2021-2025 and a new five year service agreement with Queensland Health – reflecting exceptionally high levels of client satisfaction across all programs alongside improvements in knowledge, well-being and health. Please see below for some of the key highlights for 2021/2022.
- The RAPID HIV and STI point of care testing program delivered 6,587 occasions of service through the Brisbane clinic and outreach at sex on premises venues and university campuses.
- 405 HIV home testing kits were also distributed.
Life + Program
- The Life + Program continued to provide peer navigation and case management support to over 400 people living with HIV across Queensland. This included emotional and psychological support, assistance with treatment access and adherence, housing, mental health, substance use, and stigma and discrimination.
- The Peer Navigation Program has continued to expand its scope and activities and includes emotional and social support; peer connection, education, navigation; and community development:
- QPP coordinates and hosts a number of in person and online social groups. In person social groups in Brisbane and on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts had over 120 regular attendees. There were also 14 on-line social groups and 10 national on line chat and information sessions on mental health and the moving landscape of COVID-19.
- The Community Advisory Group continued to meet regularly and contributed to the development of QPP grants and submissions including the Queensland Review of the Anti-Discrimination Act.
- Participation in the Human Library at the Queensland State Library and attendance at a number of community events including PRIDE and NAIDOC celebrations.
- Planning is well underway for ‘Digital Health Connect’ Grant, which is coming to regional Queensland from September 2022. Peer navigators will travel across Queensland and deliver digital literacy workshops to PLHIV including provision of computers to eligible participants.
Stigma and Discrimination Program
- The HIV/AIDS Legal Centre (HALC) supported 58 QPP-referred clients for immigration, discrimination, privacy and insurance matters. Our client referral pathway with HALC has allowed greater hope for better legal outcomes for clients, as well as contributing to more equitable access to justice.
- The program has also expanded services to include:
- HIV legal literacy workshops and webinars
- Legal clinic for people living with HIV
- Additional education training for QPP staff education and training.
The Operational team continued to lead a number of key areas including:
- QPP administers four funds that aim to alleviate the impacts of financial hardship for people living with HIV. Over $55,000 of funding was provided to 170 people.
World AIDS Day
- A significant World AIDS Day campaign was celebrated in 2021 – “It’s been 40 years of HIV and who would have thought?
- The HIV positive voice informed the digital campaign, Candlelight Vigils in Brisbane and Cairns and media engagements. Four regional World AIDS Grants were distributed across Queensland.
- Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry into Social Isolation and Loneliness in Queensland, including attendance at the public hearing as a witness.
- Review of the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (‘the Act’) by the Queensland Human Rights Commission.
- Consultation Paper: A framework for a decriminalised sex work industry in Queensland.
Advocacy and Policy
It has been another year of significant advocacy and policy reform including submissions and briefings for the:
- Decriminalisation of HIV and the law reform with the Queensland Government Office of the Attorney-General. QPP is advocating for vital changes to the Queensland Criminal Code Act, to ensure that law recognises the science associated with undetectable = untransmissible (U=U).
2022-2023: What lies ahead…
Our commitment to delivering enhanced and additional peer and multi-disciplinary services will continue tenaciously. This includes building relationships and pursuing funding opportunities with several Queensland Government Departments, Primary Health Networks, industry and philanthropy. QPP is also engaging with a consultant to develop a series of business cases to explore providing services to improve PLHIV experiences of Aged Care, and disability services and access to health and mental health services.
NAPWHA (National Association of People with HIV Australia) and QPP have also been successful in securing funding to deliver a national HIV home testing program. The program will enable anyone in Australia to order an HIV home test online, which will be delivered via post to any address in Australia, free of charge. People living with HIV have always been at the centre of prevention, and QPP has now been delivering HIV home testing for over 4 years. However, we are really excited to work with NAPWHA, all of our HIV peer led sister organisations, the LGBTIQ and AIDS Councils, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and multi-cultural community controlled organisations, clinicians, researchers and the government to make testing for HIV as easy and comfortable as it can be and ensure people testing positive are able to access community and clinical support and services with ease.
Mark Counter – President
Melissa Warner – CEO
Queensland will also be hosting the International AIDS Society: HIV Science Conference in July 2023. QPP’s vision is that this conference will be deeply nourished by the voices of people living with HIV.
This is an important opportunity for the Queensland HIV + community and allies to influence the strategic direction of research by shining lights on where the gaps are and generating interest and commitment from the research community to fill the gaps. We need to keep shining a light on stigma and discrimination, and how it permeates every level of living with HIV and exacerbates personal, social and structural barriers for well-being, health and access to services.
We hope you will join us for out AGM on Thursday November 10th at 6pm to find out more.
We would like to thank the QPP community, staff and board for their gracious support, dedication and commitment as we continue to nourish our foundations and grow together.
The message is clear – people living with HIV in Queensland want expanded social support, peer networking, educational programs and more visibility of community advocates – especially in regional Queensland. We are incredibly grateful for the time QPP’s community members and clients take to provide feedback and we look forward to co-designing, developing and implementing the recommendations with community over the next 12 months. A Future Innovations Committee has been formed from respected community members to help oversee and guide this change.
Whilst final decisions are still to be made about how to meet the wide range of challenges identified, behind the scenes work has continued in earnest and we are incredibly proud to have obtained accreditation and certification under the Health Services Quality Framework.
QPP Patron's Statement
I send felicitations on the achievements this year:
- That QPP has reached this significant milestone of 40 years since HIV/AIDS was first identified;
- The fact that QPP has reached 32 years since it was established and has written new and exciting chapters in the latest annual report;
- The commencement of the year 2022 with the adoption of fresh QPP strategic plans for the period 2021-5 as well as a new 5 year service agreement with Queensland Health;
QPP engagement survey for 2021-2022 captured valuable insights of QPP’s community members. Many of these participants were engaged with people living with HIV in Queensland. The hope of QPP is to extend official support, peer networking, educational programs and more visibility of community advocates. Special attention to regional Queensland is timely.
I send best wishes to all participants in QPP and to community members and clients who have benefited from QPP’s outreach. To those who participate in co-designing, developing and implementation of improvements always attempting to expand the outreach and service.
I am proud of the achievements of QPP. I look forward to its service in RAPID Program; the Life Plus Program; the Stigma and Discrimination Program.
I congratulate all of the friends of QPP who have taken part in activities on World AIDS Day and in innovative client outreach in the past year.
- The work behind the scenes, continuing to cooperate in earnest with many contributors to QPP. I wish specially to afford felicitations on obtaining accreditation and certification under the Queensland Services Quarterly Framework;
- Provision of exceptionally high levels of client satisfaction of all of QPP’s programs; and
- Attaining empowerment in knowledge about mental health and feeling well including provision of emergency funds for those in need.