Some of our key achievements

Since 2004 our membership has increased by 300%

2006:

  • We jointly launched the Travellers Campaign 2006 with Family Planning NZ to raise awareness of HIV risk to New Zealanders travelling overseas.
  • We unveiled our new logo. The logo takes the well recognized HIV ribbon and gives it a feminine touch by linking the ribbons together for unity, resembles the petals of a Rose. A symbol of love, beauty, hope, happiness, fruitfulness and growth. The words ‘Positive Women’ written horizontally in green, represents the stem of the rose, symbolizing strength and support.
  • Positive Women Inc was on the organising committee of the first regional Pan Pacific Conference for the Pacific region on HIV and AIDS held in Auckland.
  • Positive Women Inc became a representative on the NZ National Medical Council advisory group.

2007:

  • The National Coordinator presented at the first International Women's Conference on HIV and AIDS held in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Our website www.positivewomen.org.nz was launched, built for us by Central Station.

2008:

  • We launched the Destigmatisation Campaign on 20 February 2008 targeting women in New Zealand - the campaign attracted extensive media coverage and included advertisements on TV, women's magazines, women's websites, on the side of buses, on postcards and posters. Check out the campaign here
  • We produced a documentary following the four HIV+ women who were the faces of the Destigmatisation Campaign.
  • We moved into new premises at Body Positive House in early 2008 due to growth in Positive Women Inc. membership and having two members of staff. We now had two offices as well as a member lounge and bathroom facilities as well as share of the Body Positive House reception area, lounge, dining room and kitchen.
  • We launched the Positive Women Inc website www.positivewomen.org.nz
  • PWI ran the first Positive Speakers Bureau training in June 2008. The training is a four day residential training workshop facilitated by people living with HIV and who are PSB speakers themselves. The Positive Speakers Bureau was created to give people living with HIV or AIDS a voice, therefore challenging perceptions about who can and cannot become infected, and to reduce the distance between those with and without the virus. Visit the Positive Speakers Bureau website www.positivespeakers.org.nz
  • Positive Women Inc was a member of Secretariat for the Pan Pacific gathering for HIV+ people held in New Zealand in September 2008.
  • We started our practise of purchasing milk formula for HIV+ women's babies. We do this for those who are struggling financially. HIV+ women are recommended not to breast feed.
  • We assisted with payment for a lawyer for an African HIV+ woman being deported back to South Africa because of her HIV status.
  • We produced a New Zealand HIV, Pregnancy and Women's Health booklet. Read it here
  • The National Coordinator undertook regional support visits to women in isolated regions of New Zealand.
  • Positive Women Inc. had the privilege of attending the United Nations High Level Meeting on HIV and AIDS held in New York early in 2008 as a Civil Society representative. The trip was funded by the Asia Pacific Alliance of which Positive Women Inc. is a co-member together with The New Zealand AIDS Foundation, Family Planning International and Development Resource Centre
  • Two members of PWI attended the 2008 International AIDS Conference held in Mexico City.
  • The Torrens Fund was established. Named after one of the founding members of Positive Women Inc., it is a special fund to be used solely for the purpose of sending HIV+ children and teens living in New Zealand to special camps established in Australia for children and teens living with HIV. 
  • We organized the Positively Glamorous Fashion Show on World AIDS Day to commemorate 20 years of World AIDS Day, raise awareness of HIV, and as a fundraiser for the Torrens Fund. Read more about the Torrens Fund here

2009:

  • We produced the Treat Yourself Right booklet which provides up to date information on health and well being for women living with HIV or AIDS. Read it here
  • We ran a Digital Story Telling workshop and four HIV positive women produced their stories digitally. The finished products were launched in October and are available to listen to here on our website.
  • Our National Coordinator, Jane Bruning, wrote a thesis for her Masters in Social Practice entitled Stigma and Women Living with HIV: A Cooperative Inquiry.
  • We produced the HIV and AIDS Education in Schools resource booklet for educators. Read it here
  • Positive Women Inc became a member on the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board NGO Advisory Group.
  • Together with Body Positive, Positive Women Inc produced a resource booklet entitled HIV: A New Diagnosis. Read it here
  • As the New Zealand Alternate Country Representative on the Asia and Pacific Network of people living with HIV (APN+), Positive Women Inc. was for the first time invited to attend the APN+ AGM held in Bangkok in June 2009.
  • PWI’s National Coordinator, Jane Bruning, contributed a chapter to a book for Cornell University in the USA entitled HIV Policies Globally and their Impact on Women.

2010:

  • Three Positive Women Inc members attended the International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria.
  • National Coordinator Jane Bruning and PWI member and founder of the INA Maori, Indigenous and Pacific Island HIV and AIDS Foundation, Marama Pala, both presented at the Australian HIV and Stigma conference in Sydney in May 2010.

2011:

  • On February 12th, an Open Door Documentary on women living with HIV which features Positive Women Inc. airs on TV3. Repeats of the Documentary were aired throughout the year on TV3, Prime and TVNZ7. You can watch the documentary on You Tube, click here
  • PWI welcomed a Social Worker to our team. Read about Marietta Chapman here
  • Positive Women Inc. received government funding from the Ministry of Health in February 2011 for the first time in its 20 year history. The three year contract came about from a recommendation made in a review commissioned by the Ministry of Health on the provision of services for People living with HIV. The 60 page review identified that services for people living with HIV or AIDS in New Zealand overall are reaching and being appreciated, by those for whom they are designed. However seven areas were identified to which he offered recommendations, one of which was the possibility of PLHIV support organisations receiving core funding.
  • In a first for Positive Women Inc. and for New Zealand, a camp for HIV+ young people was held in June 2011.
  • Positive Women Inc and YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand joined the international Paper Dolls Campaign that sought to raise awareness of female condoms as well as the education and programming needed to support their use.The campaign was funded by Universal Access to Female Condoms (UAFC) to illustrate the growing, world-wide demand for female condoms by creating massive chains of paper dolls, each one with a personal message that reflected people’s thoughts on female condoms. During the last half of 2011, together with the YWCA, Positive Women Inc. held five events where people were able to write their messages of support on the paper dolls. The signed Paper Dolls left New Zealand in November for the Netherlands. The signed dolls from over 30 countries were exhibited at Prevention, Pleasure and Protection, the international conference on female condoms in the Hague, Netherlands, on the 17th and 18th of November. The dolls were then presented to the United Nations Population Fund and to Dutch politicians.
  • In August 2011 the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board NGO Delegation named Jane Bruning, National Coordinator for Positive Women Inc., as the new NGO delegate for Asia Pacific for the 2011-2012 term. The NGO delegation is part of the Programme Coordinating Board, which is the governing body of UNAIDS. The mission of the Programme Coordinating Board NGO Delegation is to ensure that the priorities and interests of HIV positive people and communities are considered in UNAIDS decisions and policies.
  • We made an arrangement with an Infant formula company to provide free milk formula for new mothers living with HIV for the first 6 months of baby’s life. This is only for women who are struggling financially so we are lobbying government to provide free or subsidised infant mild formula for women living with HIV.
  • In November, Positive Women Inc. relocated to new premises in Mt Eden. This move was greatly motivated by the need to provide our membership with a community house that they would feel comfortable in, that provided discretion, and that was child-friendly. The house at 176 Dominion Rd whilst having room for three offices for our staff to work out of, has a kitchen, a dining room (which will double as a meeting room), and a lounge. There’s a small, north facing deck, perfect for lunch and cups of tea in the sunshine. There is also a garage out the back which has been converted into office space with two rooms.

2012:

  • Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe, and the Rt. Hon. Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) officially opened PWI’s new community house, Rose House, on the eve of International Women's Day, March 7.
  • Positive Women Inc. celebrated 21 years of supporting women and families living with HIV. PWI members and guests gathered to remember the early days of Positive Women and celebrated our achievements over the past 21 years.
  •  Altered Lives, a short animated film about four women with HIV, premiered at the Academy Theatre in Auckland on the eve of World AIDS Day 2012. Positive Women Inc. commissioned Altered Lives after Bronwen Gray, a professional artist with more than 25 years of working in the community, approached PWI with her idea of doing an oral history project on New Zealand women living with HIV. The women who participated in the project are all members of Positive Women Inc. The making of Altered Lives was made possible thanks to the generous support of the M.A.C AIDS Fund.
  • Two members of PWI attended the International AIDS Conference held in Washington DC.

2013:

  • Jane Bruning, our National Coordinator, co-authored the first chapter of a new report by UNAIDS, entitled Women Out Loud. It explores the impact of HIV on women and the instrumental role women living with the virus are playing to end AIDS. It includes the latest data and commentary from some of the leading advocates on women and HIV. Read it here
  • Our 2009 Digital Stories were included as New Zealand case studies in the updated version of World Vision's Geography NCEA level 2 resource, Facing the Global Challenge.
  • PWI member and Positive Speaker Jan Waddell inspires change. As a result of her talk to phlebotomist staff of Pathlab, three of their North Island labs have reverted to using retractable needles. Jan is one of the Bureau's most popular speakers and demand for her grows every year.

2014:

  • Thanks in large part to PWI's four years of campaigning for female condoms to be made available in New Zealand, Tony Ryall, Minister of Health approved an amendment to the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act 1977 to allow for the sale of female condoms within New Zealand. Read more about that here
  • Early in 2014, the Positive Women Inc. Board moved to establish a new permanent Health Promotion role. This role was filled by Judith Mukakyange who first came to PWI in a maternity cover Administration role and then carved out a Health Promotion and Community Engagement niche with important parts in the Female Condom campaign, member support event coordination and community outreach, particularly within the African community in Auckland.
  • Invited to speak at the 2014 NZ Sexual Health Conference, Jane Bruning's presentation about the Female condom and our journey of advocacy for the FC in New Zealand over the past four years was awarded the “Margaret Sparrow Prize” which is one of two prizes awarded for a topic which is presented either orally or by poster at the NZSHC of the highest standard.
  • Positive Women Inc started hosting educational workshops for parents and teenagers. The aim of the workshops are to help parents better understand their teenagers and for teenagers to talk about the common struggle between traditional values at home vs. fitting into NZ youth culture. We hope these workshops will decrease some of the issues that lead teenagers to engage in risky sexual behaviour.  Also this will support some of Positive Women Inc. members who are struggling to communicate with their children about sex while they are still facing the stigma because of their HIV status.