In Australia, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, largely born in low- and middle-income countries, accounted for 24% of HIV notifications in the period 2004–2008. NSW has one of the most culturally diverse communities in Australia and is also the most popular destination for both permanent and temporary migrants. Consequently people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds have recently been recognised as a priority in the NSW HIV/AIDS Strategy. The National Health and Medical Research Council provides a cultural competency framework for re-orienting public health and health promotion programs to better meet the needs of these communities. It is being applied to re-orientate the HIV response in NSW. Examples of how this framework can be implemented are provided.