THE Victorian AIDS Council/Gay Men’s Health Centre has appointed Simon Ruth as its new chief executive, replacing Colin Batrouney who stepped in after the sudden resignation of Matt Dixon last year.

The appointment comes just months before July’s AIDS 2014 conference in Melbourne and continues a period of changes at VAC/GMHC, which included Michael Williams announcing his resignation as president last November and numerous board members being replaced.

As the former services director, Ruth oversaw new VAC/GMHC services, including rapid-testing service Pronto that opened in August last year.

“It is very exciting to be assuming the position of (CEO) at this point in both the history of the organisation and the epidemic as a whole,” Ruth stated.

“With regard to HIV, it is true that there has never been a period over the last 30 years that did not present challenges, but it appears that we are poised on the brink of some major positive shifts in HIV prevention, care and support that could fundamentally change the course of the epidemic in the near future.”

HIV organisation Living Positive Victoria has congratulated Ruth on his appointment.

“Simon Ruth commences in this important leadership role in the HIV sector in Victoria at a very exciting time, not just in terms of the International AIDS Society conference being held in July, but also at a time where we can see a pathway to the end of HIV transmissions altogether,” said Living Positive Victoria President Ian Muchamore.

© Star Observer 2014 | For the latest in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans* and Intersex (LGBTI) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also pick up the next Star Observer monthly magazine November 16 or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.