ACON’s latest financial report has revealed the charity made a loss in the last financial year, 2011-2012.

Released last week, the report shows the organisation recorded a deficit of just over $295,000.

It blamed the loss on “differences in the timing of recognition of revenue, grant expenditure and depreciation of assets,” wrote treasurer Jason Bradshaw in the report.

Overall funding was also down on the previous year from $13.55 million to $12.92 million, partly after NSW Health funding was cut by almost $1 million.

Some of the shortfall was made up by fundraising efforts and increased funding from other areas.

President Mark Orr said the previous 12 months had been filled with organisational change in order to respond to the HIV epidemic.

Earlier this year, ACON labelled Australia’s response to HIV as “moribund” and called for a shake-up of the federal government’s approach.

“Through a combination of new biomedical approaches, innovative behavioural strategies and new testing technologies, we have an unparalleled opportunity to achieve a dramatic reduction in HIV infections here in Australia, and we call on all relevant authorities to pursue these opportunities with a sense of urgency,” Orr said.

“Following a range of structural and programmatic changes over the last year, ACON is now well placed to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by the fast changing HIV prevention landscape.

“With the support of the NSW government, ACON will continue to redevelop our programs and services over the coming years with the aim of making HIV history.”

Last month, ACON shifted its HIV/AIDS campaign focus from being condom-based to a new strategy of explaining the degrees of risk in unprotected sex.

ACON is running the campaign called ‘Know The Risk’ to increase gay men’s knowledge about the degrees of risk involved in choosing not to use condoms during sex.

The campaign follows a national rise in HIV by eight percent this year, and the fifth year in a row that there has been an increase nationally.

At the Annual General Meeting last week, marketing communications expert Richard Lee, who was recently appointed to a casual vacancy on the board, was formally elected. Board members Andrew Purchas, Jason Bradshaw and Professor John de Wit were elected for a further two years.

Two serving board members were also farewelled, health researcher Devon Indig and Wollongong-based healthcare worker Mitchell Gordon.


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