In response to the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s and originally known as The AIDS Support Network, we joined the fight to decriminalise homosexuality and uphold the rights of those living with HIV and the broader Rainbow community.
HIV education in the early years was championed by the energetic leadership of Bruce Burnett, a Kiwi living with HIV who had recently returned from San Francisco. He was joined by a dedicated team of volunteers including community members, medical professionals and allies. Like too many in those early years, Bruce passed away in 1985. One year later, NZAF secured a site at Auckland Hospital to provide HIV testing and counselling. Bruce’s memory lives on as NZAF continues to provide these services at the aptly named Burnett Centre in Auckland, along with Āwhina Centre in Wellington and Te Toka in Christchurch.
With the same passion and commitment as those who came before us, NZAF continues to prevent HIV transmission, reduce stigma and maximise the wellbeing of those most affected. Through our community engagement, behaviour-change marketing campaigns, and testing and therapeutic support services, we reach people across New Zealand.
We advocate for healthy public policy and supportive environments to enable our work and all our programmes and services are informed by the best available science and evidence. As a registered charity, our work is made possible through funding from the Ministry of Health, passionate trust foundations and donations from like-minded individuals who share our vision.
The NZAF network