Statement of Principles

7th April 2017

Acknowledgements

PAN acknowledges in every aspect of our work, we meet on the land of the first owners of this country. Today, they are still the custodians of the cultural heritage of this land. Further to this, the committee acknowledges the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, the custodians of the land on which the committee most regularly meets. We also acknowledge and pay respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have lived in, worked in, and contributed to the cultural heritage of our land.

PAN acknowledges and pays respect to the people who have contributed to our knowledge and understanding of HIV, its effects on an individual and its effects on our human relationships. We pay respect to those living, and also those no longer with us, who have participated in the research, sometimes at huge personal cost, so that we may better fight the HIV epidemic, and live our lives less affected by it. Our use of biomedical HIV prevention strategies exist due to their past and ongoing contribution to us.

PAN acknowledges that in working towards ending the epidemic we must be respectful and sensitive towards those of us most intimately affected by it, those people living with the virus. PAN works towards ending the HIV epidemic, and in so doing, we embrace and include those of us living with HIV, we seek their advice and we seek their support.

Within Australia, the group most affected by HIV are men who have sex with men (MSM). We acknowledge that MSM have, for over thirty years been affected by loss and grief, and suffered the effects of the threats that the virus causes. PAN acknowledges that these communities are our communities and work towards collectively healing the harm that HIV has caused within us. Whether we are living with HIV, or not, we are all affected by HIV in our lives.

PAN acknowledges that our work relies on reducing or removing the stigmas associated with the HIV virus. Irrespective of community, stigma works against ending the epidemic. PAN works to remove these stigmas within and across communities.

Promoting Choice in Prevention Strategies

There are a number of strategies to prevent a person acquiring HIV.
PAN promotes strategies based on science, on research and on being informed and being current in our knowledge.

PAN acknowledges that an individual has a right to choose the strategies most appropriate for them. We do not stigmatise a person as a result of their choices. We act to stop stigma associated with any strategy.

PAN acknowledges that HIV, its prevention and acquisition is not merely about prevention strategies. It exists within the complexity of our humanity and as such, we must acknowledge and work with this understanding.

PAN supports and promotes biomedical HIV prevention strategies:

  • Treatment as Prevention (TasP)
  • Pre exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
  • Post exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)


Based on current research, PAN understands that TasP provides the strongest strategy to prevent a person acquiring HIV. PAN actively promotes TasP by promoting frequent testing for HIV, early treatment with antiretroviral drugs and achieving TasP.

PAN acknowledges the right of a person living with HIV to determine their use of antiretroviral treatment (ART) or not. We will, however, actively promote TasP. We acknowledge that a person using ART may not be able to achieve an undetectable viral load and we are sensitive to these issues in our interactions.

Focus Communities

PAN does not restrict it’s activities to MSM communities, we aim to support people and their decisions across communities, including but not limited to people of trans experience, sex workers, injecting drug users, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

PAN respects and supports the work of advocates and activists across the globe, and may work with organisations internationally.

Equitable Access to Strategies

PAN works to provide equitable access for every person in our communities to the prevention strategies they choose.

PAN works to create change, and envisages communities where everyone is comfortable talking about sex, strategies to support their wellbeing, including HIV and STI prevention strategies, and importantly aim to support others in the community.

We work to advocate for equitable access to information, prevention strategies and supports for individuals and communities.

Stigma

PAN’s work involves destigmatising HIV, including any context that feeds that stigma. This includes, but is not limited to sexual orientation, gender, sexual practices and drug use. PAN promotes sex positivity. We use positive language, avoid and act against shaming.

PAN promotes discussion involving HIV prevention strategies. We work towards being informed. We aim to inform, using best practice and science-based information particularly, but not limited to TasP and PrEP.

Privacy Confidentiality and Disclosure

PAN supports a person’s right to privacy and confidentiality. While PAN acts to promote a sex-positive environment, we acknowledge an individual has different circumstances and we support them in their decisions.
We maintain confidentiality of personal information we may be privy to.

PAN acknowledges a person living with HIV has the right to disclose or not disclose their HIV status at any time, in any situation. PAN supports a person in their decisions and actions regarding their disclosure, and acts to demonstrate this support when accepted by them. We also maintain confidentiality unless instructed otherwise. You can view our Privacy Policy here.

Working together within PAN

We work respectfully, we support each other.

We reach consensus and act accordingly.

We are transparent in our interactions with others in the community, including community organisations, by sharing information within the committee.

Working with other organisations

We acknowledge that we, as separate organisations are working towards ending the HIV epidemic, and are working to strengthen our communities. PAN may choose to work with other organisations cooperatively, however our voice and actions are independently determined.

We do not necessarily follow, but aim to lead.

PAN, formerly PrEPaccessNOW, is a community activist organisation and we create actions according to the following principles:

STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES

Visibility

Honesty

– We are honourable in all our dealings.  We mean what we say, we say what we mean and we do what we say.

– We speak the truth.

Pride

– We advocate that people can take pride in their use of biomedical prevention, either Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) or Treatment as prevention (TasP). They are doing the best thing for their own bodies and for their community in stopping the transmission of HIV. That is a fantastic thing.

– We are proud of our group and its work for the community

– We are proud to be sexual. We are sex positive. We do not accept stigma and shaming for

  • Sex, quantity of sex, frequency of sex, choice of sexual partners or method of sex
  • PrEP or TasP use or their sexual implications

– We do not create secret spaces or support structures for people who feel the need for privacy.  To do so would be counter to our message of pride.  

– We understand that people are at different starting points in their journey to open and proud PrEP use.  

– We support others and other groups in creating safe spaces for counselling, peer support and venting for those that feel the need for privacy but that is not our particular role.  

– We will refer those that do feel the need for privacy to those support structures and look forward to the time when they can openly join us in proud PrEP use.

Equality

– We are committed to supporting PrEP and TasP users and those who seek biomedical strategies to reduce HIV transmission.

– We will work and fight to ensure everyone has equitable access to PrEP regardless of age, race, religion, gender identity or socio-economic status.

– We will remain vigilant and fight stigma faced by PLHIV and PrEP users. PAN is committed to calling out stigma, with a focus on education, when we see it and will not tolerate it towards any individuals or groups.   

Openness

– PrEP and TasP users have nothing to be ashamed of and everything to be proud of.  We encourage open discussion about PrEP/TasP use at all levels.

– As Committee members we are open to talking about our own PrEP/TasP use.

– We do not encourage secrecy in relation to any dealings with PrEP/TasP.  Client confidential information being the only exception.

Advocacy

– We will speak out in line with our principles

– We promote that PrEP/TasP use is a right for all those who seek it to protect themselves and their partners, and the appropriate choice for their overall health and wellbeing.

– We promote that HIV positive individuals who are utilising TasP (on treatment with an undetectable viral load) are an equal and important part of the overall prevention strategies needed to end HIV in Australia.

– We will speak from our community and for our community and to the benefit of our community.

– We will speak to those that control resources and create policy.

– We will promote that our community will do and speak for itself wherever possible.

Leadership

– We lead by example. In our roles as PAN committee members we are open, honest, proud and direct about our own methods of prevention method use and support PrEP/TasP use.

– The things we say and do reflect our principles.

– We promote and provide an image of a community of proud, open, safe, responsible PrEP/TasP users as an ideal and worthy goal.

– Our actions and objectives are about positive change. We are acting to lead our community to better access, awareness, pride and use of PrEP/TasP to protect themselves and others.

– Our actions and objectives will lead our community out of fear, ignorance, shame and intolerance of PrEP use.

Engagement

Trust

– Our statements are researched and verified in accordance with the science

– We don’t reveal personal confidential information that comes into our knowledge or care

Accountability

– We are accountable to our community. We will report to our community on a regular basis and let them know what we are doing

– Our financial dealings will be audited

– Our processes are open to view by each other and our community.

– We share a workspace to increase our visibility and accountability to each other.

Collaboration

– We share all the material produced and intellectual property with other individuals and groups that have similar goals. We work to give to our community and sharing in this fashion helps our work to go further and to reach more people.  We have “open source” copyright on all our products and encourage its use and distribution.

– The PAN/PrEPaccessNOW logo, designs, website, and branding remain the intellectual property of The Committee for which we must be informed of it’s use, replication, and distribution.  

– We work with other individuals and groups who share similar goals where we can

– We do not publically criticise or disparage the work of other individuals and groups that share similar goals.

Diversity

– We welcome diversity in our Committee composition.

– We come from a diverse community. We seek to include everyone from that community in our messages, actions and services within our means and capabilities. The committee recognises that it is not possible to represent everyone and everything that we do.

– We will be careful not create barriers to diverse representation on the Committee. We will be mindful of barriers to diversity and will act in an open, transparent, visible way that welcomes diversity in all our actions and statements.

– We will promote inclusion of all people who are PrEP/TasP users or seekers to other individuals and organisations and believe that their voice should be heard on matters that affect their bodies, their health and their lives.

– We recognise the value people living with HIV (PLHIV) bring into our community and the voice they can provide to the committee to ensure our actions are appropriate, inclusive, and free from stigma. We actively seek to engage and consult PLHIV community in various aspects of our work.

Peer Approach

– We are for the community, by the community and to the benefit of the community

– We speak as equals to the community and with each other

– Our campaigns use the power of peers talking to peers

– We advocate our community be empowered to;

  • speak for themselves,
  • control projects for themselves,
  • meet their own needs where possible,
  • have choice and the right of self-determination about their own bodies,
  • exercise faith in our peers to be powerful,
  • do the right thing,
  • be effective and to be honorable.