Thursday, 28 July 2016 08:01

What's On for People Living with HIV

 

The WA AIDS Council have a range of workshops, forums and activities for people living with HIV in Western Australia.

Not linked in with the WA AIDS Council? Not to worry. If you haven’t connected with the WA AIDS Council previously and would like to register for this event, please contact Alli at apaterson@waaids.com or phone 9482 0000 who will explain how you can get involved.

To view upcoming activities, simply click on the events listings below.
*Please note, events and dates are subject to change. If you have any questions about workshops or events you can call Alli on 9482 0000 or email apaterson@waaids.com

Str8 Up Dinner

str8 up dinner february 2018
 
This is an opportunity for HIV Positive people who identify as heterosexual to come together to have dinner, network, share information, socialise and make new friends.

When: 6:30pm, Thursday 1st February 2018

RSVP:
For catering purposes and venue details, please call Alli on 9482 0000 by Monday 29th January.


Not linked in with the WA AIDS Council? Not to worry. If you haven’t connected with the WA AIDS Council previously and would like to register for this event, please contact Alli (details above) who will explain how you can get involved.

Peer Mentoring Information Night

peer mentoring information night jan 2018

This year we are starting a new programme aimed at training people living with HIV to act as Peer Mentors to other people living with HIV. Peer mentors will work one on one with other people with HIV on an individual basis and will help to facilitate and support an understanding for them to make choices around various issues that affect their day to day lives, such as effective treatment, care, and wellbeing.


If this sounds like something that you would like to be involved in, come along to our information session:

When: 6:00pm, Tuesday 23rd January 2018

How to get involved:
For more information or to book your place, please contact Mark on mreid@waaids.com or 9482 0000 by Friday 19th January.

Not linked in with the WA AIDS Council? Not to worry. If you haven’t connected with the WA AIDS Council previously and would like to register for this event, please contact Alli (details above) who will explain how you can get involved.

Walking Group

get20moving20web20banner201200x300
 
Physical activty doesn't need to be complicated. Something as simple as a brisk walk on a daily basis can help you live a healthier life. 


Regular walking has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma and stroke. We often worry about how much we are eating, but sometimes forget to theink about the energy we are expending. Even if your weight doesn't change, joining the walking group will help you feel fit and healthy, and is a good opportunity to socialise!

When: Saturday 10th February

To get involved, contact:
Mark Reid mreid@waaids.com or Alli Paterson apaterson@waaids.com or call the WA AIDS Council on (08) 9482 0000 


Not linked in with the WA AIDS Council? Not to worry. If you haven’t connected with the WA AIDS Council previously and would like to register for this event, please contact Alli (details above) who will explain how you can get involved.

Reiki

12194852 10204151918833008 1490115378083865055 o
 
The Japense refer to Reiki as 'The Universal Light Force Energy'. A Reiki treatment traditionally consists of 12 hand placements on the body, covering all major organs, to transfer energy. The enrgy works on emotions, gently bringing issues to the surface in order to let them go. During a treatment, the flow of energy may be experienced as warmth or tingling. Benefits including improved energy levels, stress reduction, relaxation and reduced mind chatter. 

There are currently no set dates for this program. 

To get involved, contact:
Mark Reid mreid@waaids.com or Alli Paterson apaterson@waaids.com or call the WA AIDS Council on (08) 9482 0000 


Not linked in with the WA AIDS Council? Not to worry. If you haven’t connected with the WA AIDS Council previously and would like to register for this event, please contact Alli (details above) who will explain how you can get involved.

Equine Therapy

vladimir vujeva 378469
 
Would you like to try something different to help you manage stress, step into the present moment and remember the calm and quiet within yourself? 

We will once again be offering an opportunity for a small group to partake in a therapuetic and experiential learning approach called Equine Assisted Learning (EAL).

During the session, the horses are not ridden, and your feet will stay on the ground during the activities. No prior experience with horses is needed to participate. If you are a little hesitant or fearful of horses, you ill be supported to participate in a way that feels comfortable and safe for you.

Participants said: 
"I found the experience with the horses deeply moving, I felt I was able to be myself and be seen."
"Amazing day with the animals, Mother Nature and fantastic people. Very safe place to let your emotions be free."
"The whole experience of being with the horses was extremely good for body and soul. A big thank you to WAAC, Mel and Romney for providing such a great opportunity." 

Express Your Interest:
Please express your interest in participating by contacting Alli on apaterson@waaids.com or 9482 0000. 

Not linked in with the WA AIDS Council? Not to worry. If you haven’t connected with the WA AIDS Council previously and would like to register for this event, please contact Alli (details above) who will explain how you can get involved. 

Planet Positive

planet pos gay men and msm june 20171                    PLANET POSITIVE

Step out and come along to this social event for HIV Positive gay men and men who have sex with men (MSM). Join others in a relaxed setting for an evening of company and conversation. Your partner or friend is more than welcome to come alomg with you. 

Express Your Interest:
Please express your interest in participating by contacting Alli on apaterson@waaids.com or 9482 0000. 

Not linked in with the WA AIDS Council? Not to worry. If you haven’t connected with the WA AIDS Council previously and would like to register for this event, please contact Alli (details above) who will explain how you can get involved.

 

The Clinical Services Department has now facilitated two Beyond Positive Series of workshops. Held weekly over six weeks, Beyond Positive evolved out of a perceived need to offer HIV positive gay and other homosexually active men the opportunity to gather in a safe space and share stories, experiences and their own personal narratives around what living with HIV is like for them.


Facilitator Mark explains, "As a HIV positive gay man this enabled me to work with my peers is supporting the continuation of their journey and the ability to listen, learn and question what they and their peers were dealing with on a daily basis. It has always been about giving each person who attends the opportunity to express freely their journey to date and to share the experiences that have gotten them to where they are today."

The workshop agenda is very flexible, with the participants setting the themes each week, whilst being mindful of group guidelines and respect for each individual’s personal journey.

Conversations are held around such issues as diagnosis, disclosure, treatment as prevention, intimacy, sex, relationships, PrEP and much more.

With the overwhelming positive feedback and evaluation from the first two series, we will certainly be continuing Beyond Positive into the 2016-2017 year.

Lisa Tomney, Manager Clinical Services

Published in Latest News
Monday, 02 November 2015 08:57

PLHIV & Sex

Being HIV-positive won’t limit you from having a fulfilling and satisfying sex life. The current WA health laws do not specifically deal with sexual transmission of HIV. These laws do not require you to disclose your HIV status to your sexual partner; but it does require both HIV positive and negative people to take all “reasonable steps” to prevent transmission, such as through the use of condoms or dams. If you transmit HIV to a sexual partner who you have not disclosed to, you may face criminal charges for transmission of the virus.

Undetectable Viral Load

“If you've got an undetectable viral load, then the odds of infecting someone with HIV are low. This means that criminal charges are unlikely. However, we would not recommend relying on your undetectable viral load as being a "reasonable precaution" as Courts are generally rather behind the times in matters of this sort. Eventually, someone will try this defence and then we will have a better idea how the Courts will view it. You probably do not want to be the test case.”
- HIV/AIDS Legal Centre & Positive Life NSW excerpt from Sex and HIV Positive People - Having a Good Time without Getting into Trouble











Published in Key Information
Monday, 26 October 2015 08:54

PLHIV & Travel

Being HIV-positive shouldn’t restrict you from travelling and seeing the world! If you are travelling it is a good idea to take your HIV medication with you for the entire length of your trip, plus a bit extra in case of emergencies. We recommend always taking your medication as carry-on, rather than in the under carriage, just in case your bags gets lost!

       If you are travelling internationally here are a few additional tips:

  • Carry a letter from your current HIV Doctor
  • Book an appointment with a travel Doctor. If you are going to Africa, Asia or South America you may require your Yellow Fever or Japanese Encephalitis vaccinations. You will be required to record this in your Vaccination Record Card and take this booklet with you when you travel. You may be required to show this document at customs. Should you be unable to be vaccinated, a letter from a Doctor will allow you exemption – discuss with your clinician.
  • Check the country visa and residency guidelines at www.hivtravel.org You can check that this information is still current by making direct contact with embassies, or alternatively contact the WA AIDS Council..
  • Travel insurance is available for people living with HIV. You can disclose your health condition in a simple online form with https://www.covermore.com.au

Should you wish to have your HIV covered you will need to:

  1. Request coverage for an existing medical condition
  2. Select HIV as your condition
  3. Answer questions regarding commencement of HIV treatment
  4. Provide details on your latest CD4 count and viral load
  5. An additional premium applies for all existing medical conditions

The following companies could potentially cover HIV as a pre-existing medical condition:

- AHM, RAC Travel: https://travelinsurance.rac.com.au
- Australia Post Travel Insurance: http://auspost.com.au/travel-insurance.html 
- 1 Cover Travel Insurance: https://www.1cover.com.au 

It is extremely important to read the fine print in the travel disclosure statement of the company you’re considering before purchasing travel insurance. It may also be worthwhile giving the travel insurance company a call to get further information.

For further information about travelling check out:

  • NAPWHA - Australian specific information for HIV-positive travellers
  • AIDSmap - A comprehensive guide on travelling. Be aware this is information specific to UK citizens, but covers some important fundamentals
  • UNAIDS - information on the global commitment to eliminate HIV travel restrictions

 

 





Published in Key Information
Monday, 02 November 2015 08:51

PLHIV & Disclosure

Disclosure of your HIV-positive status can cause anxiety. Although you may feel pressured, it is good to know the facts before jumping in and disclosing in situations were it is unnecessary.

Medical/dental: There is no legal requirement that you disclose your HIV status before undergoing any type of medical examination or treatment, including dentistry. However, it may be wise to disclose since HIV medications may interact with other medications; or the progression or treatment of other conditions may be affected by HIV infection. Under such circumstances, failure to disclose may lead to serious consequences for your health. Your treatment for other conditions may have to be modified to allow for the effects of HIV infection and HIV medications, and your doctor or dentist can only do this if they are fully informed. Discuss with your regular HIV specialist whether disclosure to another practitioner is medically necessary.

View the WA Guide to Disclosing your HIV Status by clicking on the image below.

Family/friends/ex-partners/others:
Depending on the circumstances (i.e. what precisely was said, and the manner in which the disclosures were made), you may be able to apply for an apprehended violence order to restrain the person from continuing to harass you. If the person came to know of your HIV status as the result of an intimate relationship there is also a small possibility that you may be able to sue for a breach of confidence. Finally, if the person’s comments are defamatory, then you may also be able to sue under defamation law.

Unfortunately, both defamation and breach of confidence actions are costly and carry a significant risk for applicants because if you lose you will end up liable for the other person’s legal costs. These actions are also only worthwhile where the other party has considerable assets, as the principal remedy is economic damages.

Contact the WA AIDS Council for initial discussion if someone is telling people that you are HIV positive without your consent. Remember, also, that if someone such as your employer or landlord starts treating you differently because they have found out about your HIV status, then this may be unlawful discrimination and you may be able to do something about this.

HIV Disclosure & Local Legislation: You are subject to the local laws of the country that you are visiting, therefore it’s important to have some knowledge of local legislation with regards to HIV disclosure when travelling. It is illegal for HIV-positive individuals to have sex without documenting disclosure in some jurisdictions and some PLHIV have been prosecuted without onward transmission occurring.

DisclosingHIVstatus

 

More Information - HIV, the Law & Disclosure
Gay Men & HIV Disclosure (AFAO resource, all Australian States, 2016) https://www.afao.org.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/4595/674_afao_factsheet_HIV_disclosure_2016_3.pdf 
Strategies for Proof of HIV Disclosure (US resource, Sero Project) http://seroproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/sero_brochure_colorprint-1-1.pdf 
General Disclosure Information http://www.thewellproject.org/hiv-information/disclosure-and-hiv 
Information on Disclosure in the U.S.A https://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/just-diagnosed-with-hiv-aids/talking-about-your-status/do-you-have-to-tell/ 
A Snapshot of HIV Criminalisation in the U.S.A (Center for HIV, Law & Policy, 2016) http://hivlawandpolicy.org/resources/when-sex-crime-and-spit-dangerous-weapon-snapshot-hiv-criminalization-united-states-center 
General Disclosure Information (Terry Higgins Trust, UK) http://www.tht.org.uk/myhiv/Telling-people/Who-to-tell 
HIV Disclosure & The Law (CATIE, Canada, 2013) http://www.catie.ca/en/practical-guides/hiv-disclosure 
HIV Disclosure to Partners (Canadian resource, 2012) http://www.aidslaw.ca/site/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Legal-Network-HIV-disclosure-to-sex-partners.pdf 







Published in Key Information

Our Mission

To minimise the impact and further transmission of HIV, other blood borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections. To reduce social, legal and policy barriers which prevent access to health information and effective support and prevention services.