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Tena Koutou e te Whanau.
As I write this we are enjoying Summery days coloured by Autumnal falling leaves. I spent a couple of days with Board member Fatima and her family in beautiful Nelson and Marlborough. Our Board members generously donate their time and energy whilst juggling the demands of family, jobs and study.
We have also been fortunate to have a respite from Community Covid cases, although that can change at any moment. Around the World the Covid 19 news is dire. Despite millions having received their immunisation, numbers of new cases and deaths are surging in India, Brazil, the USA and Europe. Sitting in our fragile bubble of safety I feel very grateful for the leadership shown by our Government, and the incredible mahi of our Healthcare workers, from Director General Ashley Bloomfield to GP Clinics and MIQ staff.
I was able to express my thanks directly when I attended the recent Cross Agency Rainbow Network Conference in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington. Members of Parliament and Senior Public Sector decision makers met with LGBTQI representatives from Government and NGO organisations to plan sustainable actions that will enhance our safety and wellbeing.
I participated in a panel looking at the particular needs of elders, including those in supported care. I presented some conclusions of our ‘Positive Women Inc Covid 19 Impact Report’ and recommendations from the ‘People living with HIV Stigma Index”. To encounter ignorance, prejudice and discrimination from care workers when we are at our most vulnerable is a horrifying prospect. As 70% of people living with HIV report difficulty disclosing their status and 43% have experienced mental health conditions including anxiety and depression, access to support and education of healthcare workers are priorities.
The Positive Women Inc Board meet on Zoom this weekend to finalise arrangements for the Women’s Seminar in June. Preliminary bookings indicate members and supporters are really looking forward to meeting again in person. We look forward to catching up with as many of you as possible.
Arohanui, Luca on behalf of the Board.