HIV Women's Seminar

Positive Women Inc. hosted the inaugural HIV Women's Seminar which focused on topics relating to women living with HIV in New Zealand

It was held on Friday 14 June 2013 at Parnell’s on the Rose Gardens, Parnell, Auckland


Key Note Speaker

Dr Virginia Furner is a Senior Consultant at the Albion Street Centre in Sydney and has over 25 years experience in HIV care, treatment and clinical research. She currently provides care for over 500 patients with HIV, many of whom are women, and have special issues around reproductive health, menopause and ageing with HIV. She has a special interest in the care of women with HIV during pregnancy. The Albion Centre staff have provided care for over fifty women before, during and after their pregnancy and now also focus on assisting discordant couples achieve a pregnancy. She has also had extensive experience working with community, being involved in numerous activities with NAPWA and ACON throughout Australia over many years. Virginia is currently on the Ministerial Advisory Committee for NSW and also the Ministerial Implementation Committee of the new HIV strategic plan for NSW, focusing on Treatment as Prevention.

Read her presentation on Current Health Issues for Women Living with HIV


Mark Henricksen is Associate Professor in Social Work at Massey University and he has worked for many years in HIV-related health and mental health care and management before joining Massey, including four years on the board of the NZAF, and two years as chair. He has published on HIV prevention, care delivery, and programme design and evaluation, sexual and gender minorities, and African migrants and refugees living with HIV. He has co-edited two books on social work education in the Asia-Pacific region.

Read his presentation on Meaning Making by Black African Women Migrants and Refugees Living with HIV

Susan Mundt has worked in the HIV field for eight years. For the past six years, she has been the Social Worker on the Community HIV Team, which is under the Infectious Diseases department at Auckland City Hospital. The team, consisting of one full-time Social Worker and three part-time Nurse Specialists, provides in-patient, out-patient and community care and support to people living with HIV from Northland to the Bombay Hills. Prior to this, she worked as an HIV/AIDS Outreach Worker at a social service agency in Vancouver, Canada. This involved distributing condoms and syringes to sex workers from a health van, running an HIV support group, and providing HIV education to intermediate and secondary students. Susan is currently working on her Master’s of Social Work at the University of Auckland and is in the process of doing her thesis on HIV stigma and discrimination in the healthcare setting.

Read her presentation on HIV Stigma and Discrimination in the Healthcare Setting

Marama Pala is the Executive Director of INA Maori, Indigenous and Pacific Island HIV/AIDS Foundation. Marama contracted HIV in 1993 and was the first Māori woman to publicly disclose her HIV status; she became a powerful advocate for Māori and marginalized communities. As a key witness in a successful criminal HIV transmission case (P, Mwai 1993), she is now a courageous advocate against the use of criminal law to persecute people living with HIV. She has been appointed twice as one of seven Global Community representatives on the Community Programme Committee for the 19th International AIDS Conference 2012 in Washington DC and the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.

Read her presentation on An Indigenous Perspective on Women and HIV

Lucille Wilkinson is an Internal Medicine specialist with an interest in Maternal Medicine. Lucille trained at National Women's and Auckland City Hospital. She holds a specialist position in both General Internal Medicine and Obstetric Medicine at Auckland City Hospital, and is a Senior Clinical Lecturer at Auckland Medical School. Lucille is also the Clinical Director of the Admission and Planning Unit at Auckland City Hospital. Her particular clinical interests include HIV and pregnancy, cardiac disease in pregnancy and quality improvement in acute care settings.  

Read her presentation on HIV and Pregnancy

Beth Hodder is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse, Registered General and Obstetric Nurse, with a Bachelor of Social Science (Majoring in Nurs-ing), Post Grad. Diploma in Advanced Mental Health Nursing, Member of NZ Assoc. of Councellors and Approved ACC Counsellor. Bev became interested in HIV when volunteer nursing in India, followed by working at Carrington Detox Unit in 1988 and trained as an HIV Counsellor in 1990 when employed as a full time Counsellor at an Adult Mental Health Out Patient Clinic in Nelson. Her current role at the Taylor Centre Adult Community Mental Health Centre of 6 years includes facilitation of GP enrolments for Mental Health Service Users, under ADHB Funded GP Visits if eligible. Bev continues her interest in assisting people living with HIV by collaboration with colleague Phil Nottingham, Specialist HIV and Mental Health Liaison Nurse, ADHB.

Cathy Gemmell is a Registered Social Worker in the role of Key worker in the Care and Recovery Team at Taylor Centre Adult Community Mental Health Centre. Within this role Cathy provides backup support to any clients Phil Nottingham is seeing in his role as Specialist HIV & Mental Health Liaison Nurse for the ADHB. In particular being available to meet and work with women where the need arises.Cathy has worked in the area of Mental Health for the past 16 years in a number of different roles from running work skills programmes and working as a Community Support worker. In 2001 she qualified as a Social worker, worked in Inpatient settings followed by overseeing two residential Rehabilitation facilities. She has worked in her current job at the Taylor Centre for the past 2.5 years, following a similar role for the Waitemata CMHC.

Read their presentation on HIV and Mental Health of Women Living with HIV in a New Zealand Context

For more information or enquiries about the HIV Women's Seminar 2014, please contact

Positive Women Inc.
Phone: 0800 POZTIV (769848)