NSW health organisation ACON will close its Wollongong office in less than a month.
The office, which has been open for over 23 years, provides LGBTIQ and HIV-positive people in the Illawarra region with a variety of services including safe sex packs, a sexual health clinic and a needle exchange program. The office will close after Friday, January 18, 2013.
It will be replaced with two ACON health officers – one operating out of the offices of an as-yet unknown partner organisation three days a week, and the other periodically visiting regional centres in southern NSW. In addition, health service providers will be trained to handle HIV/AIDS health issues appropriately in ACON’s absence.
ACON CEO Nicholas Parkhill cast the announcement in a positive light, claiming the move would “allow ACON to support and resource more people in more places”.
The news comes just over a month after ACON recorded a deficit of more than $295,000 for the 2011-12 financial year. According to Parkhill, however, the two are unconnected.
“We undertook a review of our services in southern NSW seeing how we could improve our service delivery. We’re following through on the recommendations that review outlined,” Parkhill said.