About Health Equity Matters

As the peak national organisation for Australia’s community HIV response, Health Equity Matters (Formerly AFAO) is recognised both globally and nationally for the leadership, policy expertise, health promotion, coordination and support we provide.

Through advocacy, policy and health promotion, we champion awareness, understanding and proactivity around HIV prevention, education, support and research. Health Equity Matters provides a voice for communities affected by HIV and leads the national conversation on HIV.

In Australia, communities affected by HIV include: gay and bisexual men, transgender and gender diverse people, people with HIV, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, sex workers, people who use illicit drugs, people from or who travel to high prevalence countries, and people in custodial settings.

We advocate for a strong and bold vision to prevent HIV and its impacts, and work with governments, clinicians, researchers and community to achieve that vision.

We contribute internationally to the development of effective policy and program responses to HIV/AIDS at a global level, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.

For more than two decades, the Health Equity Matters International Program has implemented initiatives to strengthen civil society responses to HIV in Asia and the Pacific, with Australian Government support. Health Equity Matters is currently funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to deliver a multi-country program across eight countries in the Asia Pacific region: Bhutan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste.


Health Equity Matters’ vision is ‘Working together to end HIV transmission and reduce its impacts through leadership, advocacy and community-led action on health, human rights and social justice in Australia, Asia and the Pacific.’.

Our values:

  • respect the dignity of all people
  • respect and value diversity
  • acknowledge the special place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first Australians and respect their communities’ traditions, views and ways of life
  • empower our communities and support their ownership and self-determined control of their health and lives
  • protect and promote the human rights of all communities
  • promote and support harm reduction principles
  • recognise the social determinants of health
  • build and promote evidence-based approaches to policy, advocacy and health promotion, guided by the Ottawa Charter
  • be accountable and responsive to the communities we are part of, work with, represent and serve.