Positive Women Inc.’s new premises and Community House in Auckland was officially opened on the 7th of March 2012 by the Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Michel Sidibé, and former Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Mr Sidibé and Ms Clark were in New Zealand for a short visit as part of their tour in the Pacific region to promote the UNAIDS vision of achieving zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths in all countries. It was a tremendous honour to have Mr. Sidibé and Ms Clark open our new Community House, especially as it took place on the eve of International Women’s Day. Both leaders praised Positive Women Inc. for creating a safe haven for women to come to for support and services. “Your efforts to support and empower women living with HIV are a true testament of your commitment to the AIDS response," said Mr Sidibé.
Jane Bruning, our National Coordinator, is also the Asia Pacific UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board NGO Delegate. In her role as a Delegate with UNAIDS, Jane has worked besides Mr. Sidibé to ensure that the priorities and interests of HIV positive people and communities are considered in UNAIDS decisions and policies. Speaking at the opening, Jane said that the new community house is a significant move in the future development of Positive Women Inc. “The house provides a safer, more welcoming, family friendly place for women members living with HIV and their families”. Jane spoke of the isolation and stigma women living with HIV experience and she encouraged women to make the new house their own. The new community house is offering weekly lunches, a drop-in center with lounge to relax in and computer and printing facilities for members to use.