Positive Life NSW Blog

Will you still need me, will you still feed me?

Posted by on in Advocacy and Policy

David Crawford and Lance Feeney at Fair Day 2019

While the issue of people living with HIV (PLHIV) and ageing has been discussed within the HIV sector for at least the last decade, we’re still unclear about what we need as we age with HIV and what that will look like for PLHIV into the future.

I was diagnosed with HIV in 1984 and most likely infected in New York or London in the late 1970s. I’m an AIDS survivor. But I’m also 71, and in 10 years I’ll be 81. While I’m in reasonably good health, who knows what lies around the corner?

My partner Geoff is five years younger and has had two heart attacks and cancer. Sooner or later we’re going to need some help to manage at home. Help to shop, to clean the house and to manage the garden. Neither of us want to move to a residential aged care facility. Personally, I’d rather have my eyes scratched out by rats. Does this sound familiar???

Ageing with HIV is brand new territory. By 2020, for the first time in our history the majority of people living with HIV (PLHIV) will be over 65 years.

Later this year, the Australian Government is holding a Royal Commission into Aged Care and Positive Life will be providing a submission on behalf of people living with HIV in NSW. We think this is a rare opportunity for the voices of Australian PLHIV to be heard and for their partners, carers, family and friends to weigh in on and tell the Australian Government what the current and future Aged Care service needs of PLHIV are. This is our chance to speak out about what we want and need as we age to ensure our dignity and wishes are respected. 

We’re running an anonymous survey which asks your advice and expectations about the aged care system and aged care services you receive or might need. This survey is the first of its kind in Australia and the impact will be significant to the way the Australian government responds to PLHIV in the health and aged care systems as we age. We may not get another chance like this again for quite some time.

Take our survey and let the Australian Government know what’s important for you www.surveymonkey.com/r/PLHIVAgedCareSurvey

Or alternatively you can contact the Positive Life office on 02 9206 2177 or 1800 245 677 (freecall) for a printed copy of the survey or if you’d like a hand filling it in online.

If you have any questions about the survey please contact Lance Feeney by phone 0423 477 254 or email lancef@positivelife.org.au

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