Contact: Mark McHugh
Friday, August 27, 1999.
NEW HOME SEES THE WAY FORWARD FOR VICTORIAN AIDS COUNCIL
The Alfred Medical Research & Education Precinct’s reputation as a centre of excellence in the support and treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS will be enhanced by the relocation of the Victorian AIDS Council’s $3 million Positive Living Centre, the Health & Aged Care Minister, Rob Knowles said today.
Visiting with the State Member for Prahran, Leonie Burke, to hand over a cheque to purchase the building from Vision Australia, Mr Knowles said the centre would help streamline support services for people living with HIV/AIDS and their carers.
Vision Australia sold the building, at 31-51 Commercial Rd South Yarra so that it could relocate its Braille Library to an extension to be built at its Kooyong complex.
The impressive building - modelled on a library in England and with a dome and large hall - will provide a new focus for people living with HIV/AIDS.
“The proximity of Victoria’s largest combined research facility at the Alfred Medical Precinct will be a major benefit for people living with HIV/AIDS,” Mr Knowles said.
“One of our world-class research institutes, the Macfarlane Burnet Centre for Medical Research, is to relocate to the Alfred Precinct.
“When Fairfield Hospital closed in 1996 HIV/AIDS services were transferred to the Alfred Hospital.
“The Alfred has kept up with the changing needs of patients through current models of best practice resulting from major national and international breakthroughs in the treatment of HIV/AIDS.
“The Alfred has formed alliances with major teaching and research institutions and laboratory services to undertake a comprehensive range of trials and research, and to use the knowledge gained in the provision of clinical services.
“Antiretroviral therapy has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of AIDS-related deaths and the demand for continuing and palliative care. It has also led to more HIV/AIDS patients being treated in the community rather than hospital.
“The Positive Living Centre is also close to the Prahran Market Clinic and the Prahran Medical Centre, which provide significant services to people living with HIV/AIDS.”
Mr Knowles said the Victorian Government put up most of the money to buy and renovate the centre through its four-year, $100 million Strategy for Carers commitment in 1996.
“The Victorian Government is committed to supporting people including family members who care for the disabled, chronically or mentally ill and older Victorians,” he said.
“The Positive Living Centre will be able to link in with other support services in the surrounding area, and also assist those caring for people living with HIV/AIDS.
“It will provide much-needed rest and workspace for carers and volunteer drivers, especially while their clients are attending the nearby Alfred Hospital.”
The Positive Living Centre is currently located at St Kilda, and its role will be enhanced with its move.
Mr Knowles said the Braille library will continue to operate from the centre until its new premises are ready in December next year.
NOTE:Time & venue of Mr Knowles’ visit: - 2.30pm today (Friday), Braille Library, 31-51 Commercial Rd Prahran.
Authorised by J.G. Kennett, Premier of Victoria, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne 3002.
Serena Williams, Press Secretary 9651 5799; 0419 897 858.
Graeme Walker, Human Services Department Media Unit 9616 7296.
(F:press99/ PositiveLiving /gw/23.8.99)