Thursday, 28 July 2016 08:01

What's On for People Living with HIV

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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

World AIDS Awareness Campaign Call Out

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          Image courtesy of YEAH
 
We are seeking people living with HIV to be photographed for our World AIDS Awareness Campaign. The campaign will follow on from our film 'Sharing The Journey' which features HIV positive people sharing their stories about living with HIV. The campaign aims show 'What HIV looks like in 2017' to reduce stigma and discrimination. 


Individual and group photographs will be taken and used on billboards, social media, print media, websites, and window decals. 

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.


Oct / Nov - Walking Group

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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 October 7th, 10am - 12:30pm 
- Saturday November 7th, 10am - 11:30am

 
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.

Nov / Dec - Beyond Positive

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A workshop series for HIV Positive Gay and Homosexually Active Men. Topics include Sex, Intimacy and Relationships, Stigma & Discrimination, Disclosure & Empowerment, Treatments as Prevention, Living Well and more. 

Facilitated by Mark Reid, the Positive Peer Educator.
Evaluation and Debrief on Tuesday December 12th followed by dinner at 7.30pm. If have any special dietary requirements please let Mark know when you RSVP.

Tuesday November 14th    6:30-9pm
Tuesday November 21st    6:30-9pm
Tuesday November 28th    6:30-9pm
Tuesday December 5th      6:30-9pm
Tuesday December 12th    6:30-9pm

If you're interested in this event, please contact:
Mark Reid on 9482 0000 or email mreid@waaids.com by Tuesday October 31st 2017 to secure a place. 


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.

Nov 29th - MAC Makeup Workshop (Good Spirits Day)

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  If you are a makeup enthusiast, a fan of MAC products, or just keen to learn some new makeup tips, then this two hour workshop is for you!

In 1994, the MAC AIDS Fund was created, as a grass roots effort to raise money and awareness for HIV/AIDS.  Since then, the iconic VIVA GLAM lipstick has raised millions of dollars worldwide to support all people living with HIV. In celebration of World AIDS Day, MAC will host a Good Spirits Day. The MAC company embraces diversity and its mantra…'all ages, all races, all sexes’ reflects this. 

When: 
Wednesday November 29th 2017 10:00am to 12:00pm

To get involved, contact:
Alli on 9482 0000 or via email at apaterson@waaids.com by Tuesday 27th November. 

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

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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.

 

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.