David Menadue

Alfred Health set up an HIV Services Advisory Group last October to consult the HIV community about the way forward for their HIV Services. Some proposed changes, particularly to Fairfield House’s operations, had upset a number of people in the community and the hospital, to their credit, decided they should consult with the community before proceeding with any proposed changes to the service.

The Advisory Group includes five HIV Positive members, a representative from the Department of Health, and staff from the Alfred. The Alfred Health’s CEO, Andrew Way, chairs the Committee and has shown a willingness to take on board new ideas and suggestions.

At the first meeting in October last year, Andrew Way explained why the Alfred was thinking about regarding HIV services. The clinical environment around HIV is changing, he said, and care is moving more into the community with shared care with S100 prescribers becoming the central way that PLHIV are managed these days. There was also the likelihood that some community pharmacies will be able to dispense HIV medications. The Alfred doesn’t want to duplicate services if they are no longer required.

The Group has met three times and is working on three priorities:
1. Raising awareness of and improve access to PrEP at The Alfred and around
the State;
2. Promoting Cultural Safety in the services provided by The Alfred (which may
include achieving the Rainbow tick accreditation from Gay & Lesbian Health Victoria)
3. Review services for people needing interim levels of care (e.g. Horizon Place
and Fairfield House clients).

At the February meeting the group isited Horizon Place, a residential service for PLHIV run by the Alfred, so that all Group members could understand better what this service provides. The Group was then guided through Fairfield House. The ensuing meeting discussed the need for accommodation like Horizon Place into the future and whether there was still a need for respite for PLHIV.

A number of positive people have provided input to Group members about the Alfred’s services and suggestions about what services must remain areas in need of improvement or possible changes.

If you would like to have your say, feel free to contact Reference Group members Bernie Slagtman (0402 859885) David Menadue (0412753338) Max Niggl ( 0412 082 372) Phil Elphinstone (0466 726 277) or Michelle Wesley on (0421 329 984 ). Or email