I must have tested positive about 30 years ago now. It afforded me life membership of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) back then. Well I’m still alive and still a member, and now I’m on the Board of Positive Life NSW for a second year.
Harking back to my years of living with the epidemic before treatments, I’ve always regarded ‘Poslife’ as our Union, though our membership isn’t as workers, it’s as people living with HIV. Our agency serves the same purpose as a union; to create a better life for its members, in our case HIV positive people. And it is positive people who’ve worked hard in serving positive people to achieve a great deal of betterment in our lives.
Today we are still people living with HIV; some of us are new to this and some, like me, have been here for a while. We all still need to be supported in our lives, everybody does, and we still have our agency and our people who work for us, to turn to.
While being HIV-positive is the one thing that we all have in common as members of Positive Life, we come from diverse backgrounds and communities. Where we might sometimes not find the acceptance as a positive person we deserve amongst our people, we can find it in our positive community.
The thing I’d most like to see stepped up to improve our support network is more dialogue across the diverse groups, from one to another. To achieve this, some of us may need to surrender some of the space we occupy and some may need to seize the opportunities and come forward to ensure our voices are heard.
As a Director on the Board of Positive Life NSW, I’m here to represent your interests and am accountable to the organisation and to you.
Published in Talkabout #201 February 2022