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Positive Panel Benefits from New Partnership

Speaking Out – Positive Panel Benefits from New Partnership

Positive Women Inc. are ushering in a new era as they take the reins of a service that will provide opportunities for people living with HIV to be heard in their communities.

Positive Speakers Bureau is a collective of people from around New Zealand who are willing to share their experiences of living with HIV. Positive Women Inc., a New Zealand organisation dedicated to supporting women and families affected by HIV, will administer Positive Speakers Bureau in association with the New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF).

Positive Speakers Bureau enables speakers from a cross-section of society to talk about their lives and HIV. They are knowledgeable, drawing from their first-hand experiences, and offer illuminating insights into how HIV has affected their lives; from the difficulties of revealing their HIV status, to the discrimination they face, their motivations and how they maintain their happiness and wellbeing.

Community groups and organisations, tertiary institutions as well as healthcare providers and emergency services can enlist speakers. Speakers are available to talk about their experiences to anyone needing information on living with HIV, from artists and the media to healthcare advocates and policy makers.

Eamonn Smythe, NZAF Director Positive Health Services says, “this is a fantastic joint initiative between the NZAF and Positive Women Inc and we’re delighted to have contracted Positive Women Inc. to run this initiative. I’m very confident that Positive Women Inc and the speakers - people who are living with HIV - are best placed to grow and deliver this service, which puts faces to the HIV epidemic in New Zealand.”

Jane Bruning, Positive Women Inc. National Coordinator says, “Positive Women Inc. is very excited about being able to work in partnership with NZAF and other networks of people living with HIV throughout New Zealand to deliver this initiative. We will be recruiting and training speakers from a wide sector of the HIV communities including gay and bisexual men, Māori, African and Pacific peoples. The participation of organisations and networks of people living with HIV are central to the achievement of HIV prevention and destigmatisation. At the same time, their involvement enhances self-determination through meaningful participation in decision-making processes that affect their lives.”

ENDS

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