An Indigenous health program in Queensland could be forced to close its doors after 21 years when federal funding ceases in June this year.
This week the Queensland AIDS Council received a letter from the Federal Health Department saying it would need to ‘explore more sustainable funding alternatives’ for its 2 Spirits sexual health program.
The program aims to improve the sexual health of First Nation’s gay men and sistergirls through a ‘whole of community approach’ to education, prevention and health promotion.
Another program run by the Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council has also had federal funding cancelled from June 30.
QLD AIDS Council director Michael Scott says the funding cut came as a surprise.
Last year public health authorities raised the alarm over a spike in new HIV cases among Indigenous people in far north QLD. In 2016 Cairns saw nine new diagnoses of the condition, a sharp increase from what is normally one or two new cases.
The Federal Indigenous Health Minister has been contacted for comment.
Image: QLD AIDS Council Facebook