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Language to be no barrier for accessing HIV support

Hundreds of people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities living with HIV will be better able to understand vital education material as part of a national push to improve their quality of life.

Living Positive Victoria, which represents about 1600 people living with HIV across the state, will translate educational resources into eight priority languages including Spanish and Arabic to help migrant and multicultural communities access the care they need.

The non-profit is among four HIV-focused community organisations nationally to have been awarded $200,000 in grants to help the nearly 30,000 Australians living with the disease access better healthcare.

Richard Keane, chief executive for Living Positive Victoria, said language should not be a barrier to improved health outcomes.

"We believe it's vital that all people living with HIV, regardless of language, should have access to clear and easy to understand information on HIV," Mr Keane said.

"Our Translating the Facts project aims to do exactly that by translating a suite of five HIV resources - that focus on HIV, navigating the health system, treatment and management - into eight different community languages."

ViiV Healthcare Australia's positive action community grants program seeks to fund community-based projects that reach those most affected by, or at risk of contracting, HIV, particularly in marginalised, hard to reach or vulnerable communities.

Living Positive Victoria along with Positive Life NSW, Bobby Goldsmith Foundation and the National Association of People Living with HIV Australia (NAPWHA) have established five projects that will receive funding.

Positive Life NSW will support young people transitioning from pediatric to adult HIV care services, while Bobby Goldsmith Foundation will focus on tailored health and wellbeing programs.

NAPWHA will unite Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with HIV from across Australia for a three-day residential workshop to promote healing.

Ann Maccarrone from ViiV Healthcare Australia said each grant recipient was selected based on their ability to address gaps within the current care system.

The projects submitted by the winning organisations stood out for their ability to address the unmet needs of people living with HIV while working to make a tangible and meaningful impact on improving quality of life, Ms Maccarrone said.

In 2020, there were an estimated 29,090 people living with HIV and nearly half were over 50.