Positive Life NSW Blog

We are warriors as we age with HIV!

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Protest sign that says Silence = Death

As we near the finish line of the ambitious HIV Strategy in NSW to virtually eliminate HIV transmission, Positive Life asks people living with HIV (PLHIV) who are ageing with HIV what does the future look like?

Positive people shine on the world stage as warriors in the battle to virtually eliminate HIV transmission in NSW. By 2016, PLHIV in NSW pulled ahead of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets, with 91% of PLHIV diagnosed, 92% of those diagnosed on antiretroviral treatment (ART) and 94% of PLHIV on ART living with a suppressed viral load, or an undetectable viral load (UVL).

By 2020 for the first time over half of PLHIV will be over the age of 55.  We are not only surviving previous expectations of longevity, but we are facing the triumphs and challenges of age. Now that HIV is considered a chronic health condition like diabetes or heart disease, let’s talk about how HIV impacts us as we age. 

As the first group of people to age with HIV, let’s find out what we can learn from each other about living well with HIV.  We are also living longer with the multiple health conditions alongside our HIV negative friends, lovers and family. Let’s talk about how we weigh the benefits and risks of the pleasures, vices and activities that bring us relief, joy or comfort as we reach for personal emotional wellbeing?

In early April, men, women and transgender and gender diverse people living with HIV are getting together to have a conversation about ageing with HIV and how we can continue to live the lives we want to live.  As we take centre stage in the conversation, alongside perspectives from researchers and our doctors, let’s ask the questions we need to voice and have the conversations we want to have about ageing and HIV.

Let’s talk about what benefits our emotional wellbeing, health and quality of life and gets us to places where we can engage with life and each other. How do we continue to live valued and meaningful lives, free from the impacts of stigma and discrimination, and contributing to the end of HIV transmission as we age with HIV?  Are there strategies or lessons we can borrow from other cultures which support older people? Who is left out of this conversation and how can we overcome the barriers of language and exclusion? Let us know the issues you'd like to talk about by calling (02) 9206-2177 or email contact@positivelife.org.au  

Join the conversation on Saturday 13 April 2019 from 9.30am to 1pm at the Adina Sydney Centre, 2 Lee Street, Haymarket. Call (02) 9206-2177 to RSVP or email contact@positivelife.org.au

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