frog hollow reserve

Good morning. My name is Priscilla,  and I am here before you not just as an individual, but as a woman living with HIV from Kenya. Life often takes unexpected turns, and my journey with the HIV virus began in a foreign country which has become my second home, a place where I least expected to confront my HIV status just three months after arriving.

The memory of that moment is fixed in my mind—the mix of emotions, the uncertainty, and the shock that accompanied the news. It was a crucial moment in my life, one that led me to a place of both vulnerability and strength.

My journey has taught me the importance of resilience, the strength that resides within each one of us, and the power of community and support. HIV does not discriminate based on nationality, gender, or age. HIV can find its way into anyone’s life, anywhere in the world.

Now, I want to share with you a particular chapter of my journey that unfolded in the Albion Centre.  This place became more than just a testing ground; it became a sanctuary of warmth and understanding. Even in the face of an HIV-positive diagnosis, the Albion Centre embraced me with compassion, providing a haven where the essence of my humanity was acknowledged.

Today, I proudly share that I have not only received support from the Albion Centre but have also become a part of the movement to empower and uplift others facing similar challenges.

I am now working at Positive Life NSW. This is an organisation that shares my passion for advocacy, awareness, and support for those of us living with HIV.

This year, as we gather under the theme of inclusion, respect, and equity, I am reminded of the profound spirit that defines the community of people living with HIV.

We are more than statistics; we are resilient individuals who navigate a world that sometimes misunderstands us. Our determination, strength, and agility that characterise our community spirit are the driving forces behind the progress we have made and continue to make.

It is crucial to recognise that being a person living with HIV is not synonymous with being a perpetual patient. I am not defined by my medical status alone; I am defined by the richness of my experiences, the depth of my character, and the aspirations that fuel my journey forward.

Each of us living with HIV is a person first, deserving of the same respect, dignity, and opportunities as anyone else.

As we focus on the theme of inclusion, respect, and equity, let us remember that our shared humanity binds us together.

Let us challenge stereotypes, break down barriers, and foster an environment where every person, regardless of their HIV status, is seen for who they truly are.

I stand before you not just as someone with a diagnosis, but as a testament to the resilience that exists within each person living with HIV.

Together, let us embody the spirit of inclusivity, respect, and equity, forging a path toward a world that embraces us all without judgment.

Delivered as a speech at a 2023 World AIDS Day event in Sydney, NSW

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Support
housing support for people living with HIV
Ageing Support
Treatments and Managing your HIV