Tuesday 10 October 2023
On World Mental Health Day, Positive Life NSW takes this opportunity to highlight the critical importance of mental health for all people living with HIV.
“In a time of living with HIV in NSW with access to free, effective medication that controls the virus and prevents transmission, our biggest challenges living with HIV extend beyond the medical side of HIV,” said Andrew Heslop, Positive Life NSW Senior Health Promotion and Peer Navigation Manager.
“Today, the majority of our challenges are about living well with HIV and navigating the pervasive stigma surrounding our HIV status,” said Mr Heslop.
“Stigma remains a significant risk to our physical and mental health and prevents people living with HIV from seeking peer and professional support when we need it. Today stigma is one of the biggest obstacles to testing, seeking medical treatment and care, and still results in undiagnosed HIV causing premature death,” said Mr Heslop.
“On this international day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma, we encourage our friends and family to consider that seeking mental health support is a sign of strength, not weakness,” said Mr Heslop.
“Nurturing good mental health and wellbeing is more than just a priority for those of us living with HIV,” said Jane Costello, Positive Life NSW CEO. “It’s a lifeline, vital to our overall health and well-being,” said Ms Costello.
Through its Positive Minds program supported by Gilead Sciences, Positive Life NSW offers one-on-one counselling support for all people living with HIV.
“Our counsellors use their lived experience as peers, to provide a safe, supportive, person-centred approach,” said Ms Costello.
To book, people living with HIV in NSW can call Positive Life NSW on (02) 8357 8386, 1800 245 677 (freecall outside metro areas) or email email@example.com for an initial confidential initial intake review.
Jane Costello, CEO – 1800 245 677 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Positive Life NSW is the largest peer-led and run representative body of all people living with HIV in Australia based in NSW. We make a significant contribution to, and positive impact across the spectrum of health and social issues on behalf of all people living with HIV in collaboration with HIV specialist and mainstream services to improve the health and quality of life of all people living with HIV in NSW. We do this through evidence-based health promotion, research, policy advice and peer support.