Whole of Life Programs

The RAPID program provides a supportive sexual health testing experience for those at risk of HIV or who are living with HIV, in a peer-led, community-based setting.

The service uses point of care testing for HIV and syphilis using immunochromatographic testing devices, as well as testing for chlamydiaand gonorrhoea using nucleic acid amplification testing at the point of care. These tests enable results to be delivered on the same day.

By design, the service seeks to address and mitigate known barriers to testing uptake and engagement, aiming to increase the proportion of PLHIV who are aware of their status.

As a constituent program of QPP, the service is informed by – and imbued with – the lived experience of PLHIV, and the service undertakes significant work to address HIV-related stigma through education and health promotion in each consultation.

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Following an internal evaluation of the program and community feedback, QPP has redeveloped the Peer Navigation and training program to expand the scope of the role of Peer Navigators and the program itself. In early 2022, we also welcomes 3 new Peer Navigators to the team. Our team of peer navigators are PLHIV, using their lived experience and professional training and skills to support other PLHIV. The focus of the peer navigation program is to provide:

Peer Navigation

At QPP, we recognise the powerful benefits of peer social connection to support PLHIV.

Social and emotional support and opportunities for peer connection continue to be strengthened by our social groups, online chat portal OLARK, and warm phone line staffed by our peer navigator team.

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QPP’s Peer Navigation Team continued to engage and educate PLHIV about HIV, STI prevention and sexual health, mental and physical health, resilience and stigma and other important topics. There are three core modules that are delivered to every Peer Navigation client and these are:

The virus – what you need to know

Treatment – it’s your choice

Navigating the health system – you’re in control!

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This year QPP Peer Navigators have delivered these core modules, alone with many other elective modules to 126 clients across Queensland.

This module covers basic HIV knowledge including HIV transmission, progression, understanding pathology results and health markers and how to take control of your diagnosis.

The team continues to support people newly diagnosed with HIV. Last year, we saw an increase in people being referred to the program, which was likely due to the emotional and physical toll that the COVID-19 pandemic placed on our community. This year, numbers of people accessing peer navigation returned to pre-pandemic levels with our Peer Navigators supporting

Multicultural Social Group’s Museum Tour

The Multicultural Social Group meets once every month and brings together PLHIV from all walks of life. On Saturday 18th June the group joined in a First Nations artist tour which included a visit of the Legacy: Reflections on Mabo exhibit and artworks at Queensland Gallery of Modern Art.

Some of the Indigenous artwork included:

  • Tow Row by Judy Watson – referencing woven nets used by Aboriginal people of the area, acknowledging the traditional owners of the site and their everyday fishing activities on the river and local saltwater waterway.
  • MAIWAR Yunggulba by Megan Cope – recreation of a sense of place and identity by overlaying topographical military maps with Aboriginal place names revealing alternative historical narratives.
  • Kurilpa Country by Lilla Watson – reflection of Indigenous perception of the relationship between its land and its people.
  • Coolamon by Laurie Nilsen – beautifully carved, extra-long coolamon used to catch rain, which is displayed in the Talking Circle in kuril dhagun.

The group also enjoyed other activities happening that day including partaking in an Indigenous opening ritual ceremony and art workshops, which were all part of the Queensland State Library’s 120th founding anniversary entitled ‘Your Story is Our Story’. The First Nations artist tour was facilitated by The Black Card in partnership with the state library.

We had some really good feedback from the Multicultural Social Group members especially from those who have recently moved to Australia as it was their first time connecting more deeply with  our First Nations history, art and literature.

New QPP Social Groups:

The Sunshine Coast Social Group has been re-established at the Maroochydore Neighbourhood Centre and meets monthly.

The Gold Coast Social Group is also recommencing in the near future.

Women’s Group – Consultation and planning has been commenced to reconnect the network of women living with HIV.

QPP is also planning on hosting a number of gatherings across regional Queensland. 

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QPP understands the importance of connection for all members of our society, and we also know that peer connection is especially important for PLHIV.

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In the last two years, it has been more difficult than ever for people to come together and connect, and this has meant that the need for QPP to support PLHIV to stay engaged and socially connected has been even more important.

QPP has continued to operate social groups this year and adapted modes of delivery to the changing environment of the pandemic. This year, in-person social groups were prioritised over online settings, as the community showed increasing eagerness to connect in-person.

QPP facilitated 32 in-person social groups this year to ensure the continuity of community support for PLHIV.  We achieved this whilst recognising the ever-changing health environment we experience due to COVID-19 outbreaks – for this reason, some groups were cancelled or postponed throughout the year.

Saturday Brisbane BBQ – 149 attendees

Mature-Aged and Long-Term Survivors – 81 attendees

Multicultural Social Group – 39 attendees

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Social Groups

QPP would like to thank our social group coordinators and peer navigators for their support in facilitating in-person and online social groups.

If you would like to be more involved or set up another group anywhere across Queensland, please get in touch with our PN team.

  • emotional and social support to facilitate peer connection;
  •  support people to navigate health systems; and
  • promote HIV health literacy to navigate a diagnosis.

This module provides information about the basics of HIV treatment, the importance of starting treatment early and adherence, the overall goals of treatment and myths and misconceptions.

In this module clients learn about how to choose a doctor that is right for them, the importance of their HIV health care team, other supports and where to access HIV treatment.

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In early 2022, QPP was invited by Mansfield State High school to speak to the senior students about HIV for a unit they were undertaking on epidemics and the impacts of widespread illnesses on populations. QPP’s Community Engagement and Education Officer and a Peer Navigator, spoke about the timeline of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, including when it emerged and also noted on major milestones for our community such as, the emergence of effective treatment and Undetectable = Untransmissible (U=U).

This event was also used as an opportunity to discuss sexual health with students in a safe space. The group discussed the benefits of regular sexual health testing and also spoke briefly about PrEP. Additional information about testing was also provided including the location of RAPID and the services provided at the clinic.

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The main goal of the Human Library consisted of three main objectives; to bring different social and ethnical groups of society together, to challenge (and overcome) prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination in society, and to learn, educate, and change attitudes.

Two peer navigators presented their “books” to talk about living with HIV and answering questions from members of the general public. The event was held at the Brisbane City Library where 12 different books were presented. It was a great way to interact with the community and talk about living with HIV.

The Human Library

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The Human Library was started in 2000 by brothers Ronni and Dany Abergel, and colleagues Asma Mouna and Christoffer Erichsen at Roskilde Festival, Copenhagen. They belonged to a local NGO group called Stop the Violence and conceived this idea after their friend was killed.

Community Development and Education

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In recognition of MIPA and the need to engage with Queensland PLHIV communities, QPP established a Community Advisory Group (CAG) in 2020. The CAG seeks to engage PLHIV from diverse communities across Queensland and provide a platform for individual and collective voices. The CAG assists QPP to identify current and emerging community needs and informs its strategic priorities in service delivery, advocacy, health education, and information.

Participating with QPP’s CAG this year has been a great opportunity to reconnect with other positive people and to continue to ‘live the journey’ as a positive person. Having been diagnosed over 30 years ago, it is only natural (in my opinion and experience) to at times need to draw close and engage, yet other times just getting on with one’s life is the priority. Recent events with the COVID-19 pandemic reminded me to be my own health-advocate first and foremost, and to finally make amends to deal with my own diagnosis and self-stigma. And so here I find myself…. still here but getting much older and still learning and relearning what being positive means in my life, and to what it may mean for others too.

A comment from your CAG

As a peer-based organisation, QPP centres positive voices and values the importance of the lived experience of HIV. Everything we do is underpinned by the principles of meaningful involvement of people with HIV (MIPA).

MIPA principles recognise that PLHIV are integral and central to the HIV response. MIPA values PLHIV as a resource providing lived experience and knowledge to help inform the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs and services.

QPP Community Advisory Group

In the last 12 months the CAG met regarding the following topics:

  • Discussion and building of funding submission for the re-establishment of the Queensland Positive Speakers Bureau
  • Discussed the benefits of a private opt in QPP Facebook page for community to connect
  • Reviewed Peer Navigation modules
  • Provided discussion on the benefits of production “info brochures”
  • Provided advice on QPP’s submission into the review of the anti-discrimination act in Queensland
  • ACAG member moved on to join the QPP Board
  • The CAG also welcomed 2 new members

This year, QPP have reconnected with the Positive Life Development Institute (PLDI) and have funded opportunities for Queensland PLHIV to attend the course and strengthen post training pathways of opportunities. Queensland PLDI workshop planned for later in the year. Applications will be opening in September.

The Positive Leadership Development (PLDI™) offers people living with HIV the opportunity to develop skills for leadership and resilience. The program originated in Canada and Living Positive [MW1] Victoria brought it to Australia, in response to local demand that was evident in the first Australian Stigma Audit (NAPWHA, 2012).  PLDI™ identifies and builds the personal sense of agency and capacity of people with HIV fostering resilient leadership practices and strengthened community outcomes.

Fund for PLDI Course

Digital Health Connect

The primary aim of the project is to improve the digital health literacy of PLHIV through the delivery of in-person group-based workshops and individually tailored support.

Education and support will assist participants to build their skills, knowledge, and confidence in using digital technology to improve their ability to source reputable health information and increase their engagement with Health Care Providers utilising telehealth. The project will also build participants skills to utilise platforms that foster social connection and create a sense of belonging.

The project will be led by two Peer Navigators (PN’s) and will leverage QPP's well established and reputable peer navigation program. PNs will develop digital literacy workshop content based on the Commonwealth Government’s initiative ‘Be Connected’ through a co-design process with QPP’s Community Advisory Group.

Eight workshops will be co-facilitated by PN’s and will focus on skill-based development within a communal context, thereby cultivating engagement with peers and the HIV positive community and creating social and support networks. Tailored and individualised support will be provided to participants who experience barriers to support engagement.

QPP Digital Health Connect participants will be provided with a laptop or computer to enable participation in the workshops. Eligible Digital Health Connect participants will be keep these computers after graduation from the workshop to support ongoing digital literacy development and participation in monthly online meetings.

The project will be integrated into QPP’s suite of peer services for ongoing implementation beyond the life of the project grant and content developed and other resources will be offered to NAPWHA and other HIV organisations to support PWHIV across Australia for adaption to their jurisdictions.

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In the latter half of the 2021/2022 financial year, a grant was awarded to QPP through the ViiV community grants round, for a project titled ‘Digital Health Connect’. This project is a peer-based and will deliver digital health literacy workshops to PLHIV in regional, rural and remote areas across Queensland.

In late 2021, QPP received funding to redevelop the Let’s Treat Syphilis campaign that was run in 2019 in collaboration with the Queensland Council for LGBTI Health (QC).  

Partners in promotion.

This campaign aims to improve awareness of the rising rates of syphilis diagnoses being recorded in Queensland.

The project team has consulted with numerous stakeholders and community members to ensure that the redeveloped promotional materials are relevant to priority populations.

Let’s Treat Syphilis has partnered with several organisations who are running similar campaigns in order to ensure that all at-risk community members are engaged in the campaign. These include organisations such as 2Spirits and True Relationships and Reproductive Health.

Syphilis Awareness

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Mansfield State Highschool

Case Management Highlights

Case Management

This year, the QPP case management team have continued to provide support to assist PLHIV to address the many issues that impact our health and wellbeing. This program aims to support people to overcome barriers to engaging with HIV care and treatment, while empowering them to build on their existing strengths and skills to effectively self-manage life with HIV.

Common areas for support include treatment access and adherence, housing, mental health, subtance use, financial stress, and stigma and discrimination. Demand increased this year from people experiencing COVID-19-related emotional and psychological distress, and HIV- or COVID-19-related immigration issues. Further, more people experienced homelessness and lack of available and affordable housing after the cessation of Department of Housing COVID-19 support.

Our team of 9 case managers are based in Cairns, the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast. They provide outreach services for people across the state, including in rural and regional locations.

Our case management framework uses a planned approach, tailoring interventions and support to individual needs and circumstances. QPP's highly skilled care management team works with people to identify issues, explore options, and jointly develop goals to address concerns.

QPP case managers continue to work closely with the HIV Public Health Team, with whom we share a productive and collegial relationship. Together, we support people with complex challenges that impact their ability to engage with HIV care. Our collaborative coordinated care approach achieves great outcomes for people.

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We would like to acknowledge and thank our highly skilled, committed, and passionate team who continue to work hard to realise QPP’s vision of creating a better future for PLHIV. We appreciate their efforts in what has been a challenging time for all our community as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

HIV Treatment & Management

Funding Relief for PLHIV

QPP administers four funds that aim to support PLHIV who are experiencing barriers to engaging with HIV treatment and care or financial hardship:

  • The Hope Fund
  • HOPE Fund+
  • Emergency Treatment Fund (ETF)
  • Fund for Clients with Complex Needs (CCF)

The Hats Off Positive Endeavour (HOPE) Fund was established on 1 February 2006 by co-founders David Bermingham and Simon O’Connor to support PLHIV in need in Queensland. The Fund provides small grants for goods and services to PLHIV who are experiencing financial hardship, have a demonstrated material need, or are looking to improve their lives.

The Fund is an initiative of Oz Showbiz Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and QPP, in partnership with the Queensland Council for LGBTI Health, formerly known as the Queensland AIDS Council. The grants committee, comprising a representative from each organisation, decides the outcome of each application.

16 PLHIV were supported through The HOPE Fund in 2021/2022 with the total amount awarded being $14,473.14.

Please see the table to the right and the graph below for a breakdown of these grants.

To see if you are eligible to apply, please visit the QPP website and click on “The HOPE Fund”, email, or call 07 3013 5555.

In 2017, the HOPE Fund made a one off donation to establish the HOPE Fund + in response to unmet needs that other emergency funds were not able to meet. In the past year, HOPE Fund+ has provided $1,291.41 in financial support for three PLHIV around Queensland.

The HIV Emergency Treatment Fund (ETF) is a QPP-managed program that is funded by Queensland Health annually. The ETF provides short term financial assistance for all PLHIV residing in Queensland (including people ineligible for Medicare) experiencing financial hardship to support early and ongoing engagement in HIV-related treatment and services.

Support includes clinical consultations for Medicare-ineligible PLHIV, medication costs, food costs, communication costs (e.g., phone credit), travel costs, and emergency accommodation costs. Other miscellaneous costs that may affect medication adherence can also be applied for.

The HOPE Fund

The balance of The HOPE Fund at 30 June 2021, after all grants were awarded and paid, was $97,763.95.

The HOPE Fund Applications and Grants

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Number of applications received



Successful applicants



Total amount awarded to individuals



Average amount awarded to individuals



“Can I just say without The HOPE Fund and also definitely the assistance of [Case Manager]… Let's just say nobody had any idea what we would have to be living through over the last couple of months. Being stuck in isolation would have really been almost intolerable without the assistance of The HOPE Fund with getting the refrigerator and the bed. Those two items were essential when it came to building myself a safe and peaceful environment to live in. Even [Organisational Administrator] was a great help getting it all organized and answering any follow up questions. Now I'm starting to build a savings buffer account and my next goal is to acquire myself a sofa for the lounge room.I can't thank you guys enough for the assistance you provided me a little over 2 months ago. I hope everybody is staying safe and washing their hands. And don't forget to tell the ones you love that they matter to you every now and then, during these tough times.”

Total Income$496.29

The HOPE Fund Income – 2021/2022

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HOPE Fund +

The Emergency Treatment Fund

Thanks from The HOPE Fund Recipients…

Who is eligible to apply to The HOPE Fund?

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This year, the ETF provided financial assistance to 87 PLHIV, of whom 77 were Medicare-eligible and 10 were Medicare-ineligible. The PLHIV supported were born in 19 different countries and resided across Queensland.

During the last two yearsoccasions of access to the ETF have increased. Throughout the latter stages of 2021 and early 2022, the number of applications to the ETF have tapered off slightly, however they remain constant.

Fund for People with Complex Needs

The fund for people with complex needs or commonly referred to as the ‘CCF’ is a special fund provided by Queensland Health to QPP to support people with complex needs.

To be eligible to access the fund people need to be referred to QPP by the HIV Public Health Team (HPHT). The primary aim of the fund is to support people with practical assistance to address barriers which are impacting their ability to engage in HIV treatment and care.

Applications to the fund are made by HPHT and QPP case managers for people who are collaboratively supported. A committee comprising of representatives from QPP and the Communicable Diseases Branch assess applications to the fund.

Over the past year, 59 PLHIV were supported by the CCF in 216 cases for supports such as medications, housing, transport, accommodation and communications. A total of approximately $26,701.46 was expended to support people with complex needs.

This year, the ETF provided $14,863.26 of support to PLHIV across Queensland.

HIV Stigma & Discrimination

Modern medicine and scientific strides in understanding and treating HIV have allowed many PLHIV to manage their health successfully and achieve improved health outcomes. However, a continued lack of widespread understanding of HIV means stigma and discrimination remains one of the most significant pervasive final barrier for the community.

Legal Support and Referral with the HIV/AIDS Legal Council

HALC supported 58 QPP-referred clients this year, including for immigration, discrimination, privacy, and insurance. The support provided by HALC has proved invaluable for QPP clients. Our client referral pathway has allowed greater hope for better legal outcomes for clients, as well as contributing to more equitable access to justice.

QPP recognises the difficulty that our PLHIV community face with stigma and discrimination on a daily basis.

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QPP has continued its partnership with the HIV/AIDS Legal Centre (HALC), providing legal advice and representation to PLHIV experiencing HIV-related legal issues.

Legal Clinics and HIV and the Law Webinars

This year, the QPP and HIV/AIDS Legal Centre’s partnership continued to grow with additional projects being conducted. Some of these project were legal literacy workshops, a legal clinic for PLHIV and QPP staff education and training. This year saw delivery of 2 full-day legal clinics: 1 in-person at the QPP Manilla Street office and 1 virtual. The face-to-face clinic was well-subscribed, with the provision of on-the-spot legal advice to 5 PLHIV. Each appointment was followed up with written advice and information.

Additionally, HALC delivered 1 evening webinar on Legal Issues Facing PLHIV, with a focus on immigration law, followed by a question-and-answer session which reflected that attendees were in need of HIV-specific immigration advice tailored to their circumstances.

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