The second HIV Women’s Seminar hosted by Positive Women Inc. was held in Wellington on Friday 22nd August at Te Papa, National Museum of New Zealand
Living with a diagnosis as stigmatising as HIV is incredibly isolating. This isolation is magnified when combined with being a minority in a community which has little education or understanding about HIV or AIDS.
The seminar programme was put together by Women living with HIV so as to cover the topics which affect us and about issues that we struggle with so that a better understanding of our lives is gained. It was also a day of learning for those of us living with HIV.
The Seminar was opened by Jo Elvidge, Principal Advisor, Sexual and Reproductive Health at the Ministry of Health. Jo provided an overview of the scope of her new role and the plans for a review of the sexual and reproductive health programme. Articulated were the priority actions for each part of the Sexual and Reproductive Health sector, highlighting how the Ministry and Sexual Health sector can play to its strengths, each building on each other’s work. Jo also expanded on the MOH’s ongoing commitment to prevention and treatment of HIV and current trends while recognising the deep difficulty that stigma causes for positive people, especially in regards to the new bill in parliament making HIV modifiable and what this might mean.
Professor Anita Nolan, Specialist in Oral Health presented on HIV and Oral Health. The speciality of oral medicine and with the diagnosis and medical management of disorders associated with the mouth, face, salivary glands and jaws, but not conditions that relate directly to teeth, are especially relevant for people living with HIV. Disorders include abnormalities of the lining of the mouth, white or red patches, lumps and swellings, ulcers, facial pain, dry mouth and salivary gland disorders. Symptoms are often chronic and can represent oral manifestations of more wide spread disease.
Dr Nigel Raymond, Infectious Disease Physician & Clinical Leader of Infectious Diseases based at Wellington Hospital, presented the Latest from the International AIDS Conference held in Melbourne in July 2014 with a focus on information concerning women living with HIV.
Read his presentation on Women and HIV
Judith Mukakayange, Health Promoter at Positive Women Inc spoke about HIV and Stigma. This was an interactive session to highlight the working of HIV related stigma and discrimination through a theoretical case study.
Read her presentation on HIV and Stigma
Anna Beard, Communications and Development at Positive Women Inc. presented on the Female Condom. Anna will talk about the advocacy Positive Women Inc. has done around gaining access to the FC2 Female Condom in New Zealand. The presentation provided information about various female condoms available and the upcoming Global ‘Dance for Demand’ campaign to be run for International Condom Day on the 16th of September.
Read her presentation on Fighting for Female Condoms
With the advances in HIV medicines, globally, pregnancy, birthing and feeding options for women living with HIV are changing. This session will look at the current NZ recommendations and discuss possible future options. Each of the presenters talked a little on their specialist area and was followed by an interactive discussion with the audience.
Jane Bruning, National Coordinator, Positive Women Inc.
Read her presentation on Breastfeeding and Homebirths
Dr Lucille Wilkinson, Obstetric Physician, Auckland Hospital.
Read her presentation on Positive Pregnancy for Positive Women
Penny Wyatt, Clinical Midwife Specialist Lactation, Wellington Hospital.
Read her presentation on Advising HIV Positive Women on Infant Feeding
Kass Ozturk, Senior Advisor Maternity, Ministry of Health.
Read her presentation on HIV and Breastfeeding