Melbourne’s homosexuals yesterday announced the formation of a special group to combat what it regards as ignorance and hysteria about acquired immune deficiency syndrome, AIDS.
The Victorian AIDS Action Committee (VAAC) was established at a public meeting in Melbourne on 12 July. Over seventy people attended the meeting at the Laird O’Cockpen Hotel, to which all gay groups in Victoria had been invited.
A deputation from the AIDS Action Committee (AAC) to the NSW Health Minister, Laurie Brereton, received a favourable hearing and resulted in a promised re-organisation of Health Department committee structures and funding for a field worker to undertake “contract tracing” of possible AIDS cases.
From Campaign Australia, July 1983: MELBOURNE: The Anderson auditorium at the Royal Dental Hospital was…
“Everybody is talking about it. It’s such a frightening thing, so frightening that people are almost joking about it.” Mr Stephen Allkins, a young homosexual from Elizabeth Bay, was sitting in the Flinders Hotel in Darlinghurst yesterday, talking about the AIDS scare and the Sydney gay community’s response to it.
A call for a national symposium of doctors to discuss acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) has been made by Sydney’s homosexuals following the disclosure of at least 19 suspected cases of the incurable and generally fatal illness in Australia.