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Six Voices Part Six - Disclosure

In 2015 we sometimes forget about the impact that living with HIV can still have on a person’s life. Here is part six of a six-part series, describing what it is like to live with HIV in Perth in 2015.

IN TODAY’S EVOLVING TIME THE IGNORANT AND UNEDUCATED ARE THE ONE’S THAT ISOLATE THEMSELVES.

Disclosing one’s status is a brave and commendable thing and as a person living with HIV, my experience has taught me that those that wish to run away due to this ignorance or lack of education will weed themselves out. As friends of mine have reiterated to me at several occasions – “What does not kill you makes you stronger” – how true!!!

Personally I’ve come a long way. I’ve gone through the emotional rollercoaster of having to disclose my status in various situations; whether it is casual sex encounters, confiding in friends, being faced with awkward silences, blank looks or just that plain rejection. It has dragged me down from time to time and is discouraging and disheartening, but on the contrary there are moments that put a smile right back on my face.

I have chosen to surround myself with loved ones that provide me with that safety and security of unconditional love – that feeling of liberation, acceptance, non-judgement and belonging – the beauty of being me. Our words and actions impact others in negative and positive ways. If we can stretch ourselves beyond our comfort zone and extend our hands – we will induce change to help eliminate stigma.

 

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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.