Coordinators Update

Kia ora. We have finally entered the electronic age with our newsletter. It’s taken a while but we made it. We hope you enjoy it and would love to hear your feedback on the new format.

Some fantastic work and projects have been happening over the past few months. You can read about the HIV Women’s Seminar and Retreat 2019 which was a huge success.

The Stigma Index research project which we have been trying to get going for a few years is finally happening. We managed to get some funding from Otago University, NZAF, GSK/ViiV and Positive Women Inc. which meant we could at least start but had to reduce the number of people we could interview. We then had some exciting news when the Ministry of Health agreed to support the project and GSK/ViiV added a bit more to what they had already given. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. Now the project can run as we had hoped it would. There was a very productive training weekend for the research interviewers in July, who are all people living with HIV which adds a whole new dimension to this project.

The African Gardening Groups, MUMG and Shamba Letu, have been media stars with an 8 page spread in the NZ Gardener and a segment on TVNZ. Check these out. Great work being done by all.

Thomas Phillips wrote an amazing article on Stigma and people living with HIV, which included some Positive Women Inc. members as well as members of the Positive Speakers Bureau.

Finally but by no means least, we relaunched our “Women Can Get HIV Too” campaign with Heather as the new face of the campaign. The campaign draws attention to the fact that women are not being offered an HIV test when presenting with unexplained symptoms and the consequences this has for them and their families. Thank you Heather for your courage and determination to ensure this message is heard.

I shall end on that note and hope you enjoy the new format newsletter.

Nga Mihi Jane