A LEADING specialist in HIV and AIDS has accused state health minister Lawrence Springborg of “rewriting history” in an opinion piece he submitted to the Star Observer last month.
Dr. Wendell Rosevear said Springborg was incorrect in his statement that Campbell Newman’s Liberal National Party government “inherited a HIV strategy of the former Labor Government that was stale and moribund” – which referred to the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities.
“Labor directed AIDS funding through an agency that lost sight of the problem. It championed political issues and boasted of resources diverted to those ends, while the anti-AIDS campaign just fell apart.” Springborg wrote.
Springborg also said QAHC had become “too political” and “radical” when citing reasons he used to defund the organisation last year.
But Rosevear, who resigned from the Ministerial Action Committee on HIV and AIDS after accusing it of being a “rubber stamp” for the government, said Springborg refused to engage with the organisation he chose to defund.
Despite no government funding, QAHC still runs campaigns on HIV and AIDS prevention measures.
“They were only contracted to target the gay community and this aspect of their work was independently audited [so] that those funds weren’t diverted to other projects,” Roosevear said.
“[Springborg] may not have liked the fact they supported aged care, mental health, self esteem for suicide prevention and support for relationship recognition [civil unions].”
Rosevear also highlighted the fact that QAHC were the first to introduce rapid HIV testing in Queensland, and he also criticised the decision to scale back staff and operations at the Brisbane Sexual Health Clinic.