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Our Story - Burnett Foundation Aotearoa

Burnett Foundation Aotearoa (formerly New Zealand AIDS Foundation) has been at the forefront of the community response to HIV in Aotearoa for nearly 40 years. You may also recognise the names of some of our many campaigns over the years: Get it On!, Love Cover Protect, Love Your Condom, Ending HIV, Pamoja and more. 

This organisation’s origins trace back to the early 1980s grassroots response started by brave volunteers who raised awareness of AIDS and support for those living with AIDS. A Kaupapa that grew into the AIDS Support Network, then became the New Zealand AIDS Foundation in 1985 - and then the Burnett Foundation Aotearoa in 2022.  

 

In a time where those most affected were ostracised and discriminated against, our forebears in this organisation joined the fight to decriminalise homosexuality, establish and uphold the human rights of those living with HIV, decriminalise the possession of needles and to decriminalise sex work.  

With a long history of brave, sex-positive education, support and advocacy, Burnett Foundation Aotearoa, alongside other brave organisations and people, was a part of changing the course of the HIV epidemic here in Aotearoa.  

Over nearly four decades, the many people who have been drawn to this Kaupapa and joined our mahi, have made a huge difference in the lives of people living with and affected by HIV. We are today seeing some of the lowest rates of new HIV infection since the 1990s, thanks to this dedication. 

Aotearoa is often looked at as one of the success stories of the HIV response and led the charge in many ways and for that we are proud. While we know there is still so much mahi to do, it’s important to reflect on our history too.  

We are an organisation founded by heroes. Heroes who saw what was coming and decided to do something about it – who undoubtedly impacted and saved countless lives. Heroes who have largely flown under the radar, without the recognition they deserve.  

Bruce Burnett, one of our co-founders, is one of these heroes. Someone we hope more people will come to know – now that we carry his name.  

Bruce 1

Want to know more about Bruce & our name?

Bruce Burnett, one of our co-founders, is one of these heroes. Someone we hope more people will come to know – now that we carry his name. 

Burnett Foundation About

What do we do today?

With the same passion and commitment as those who came before us, Burnett Foundation Aotearoa continues to prevent HIV transmission, combat stigma and maximise the wellbeing of those most affected by HIV. 

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