- Next steps, an education resource for people recently-diagnosed with HIV, produced by the National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS (NAPWA) and the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO).
- Living Positive Victoria, the peak body for people living with HIV (PLHIV), providing education, information and representation for all PLHIV in the State of Victoria.
- Positive Women Victoria, a support and advocacy organisation for HIV-positive women.
- Straight Arrows, support and services for HIV-positive heterosexuals and their families.
Finding out that you are HIV positive can be frightening and confusing. Everyone deals with the diagnosis in their own way. Here is how we can help you and some other ideas that may assist.
Parents, partners, family members or friends can be your greatest support when dealing with a HIV diagnosis. However your circumstances may be such that you feel you need an independent person outside your family and social circles, at least initially. In this circumstance you may find a counsellor or social worker helpful. We provide a professional and affordable counselling service.
Disclosing your HIV status
Think about who you want to disclose your HIV status to. Do not disclose until you feel the time is right. Who should I Tell by The National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS (NAPWA) may help you with this decision.
Learning and understanding as much as you can about HIV can help lessen the anxiety and worry. Talk to a doctor you are confident with. If you don't already have a doctor with whom you have a good relationship, perhaps our Centre Clinic can help. The Centre Clinic is a community health service for people living with HIV and the broader LGBTI community, but open to all.
We also provide one-on-one support, advice and information to people living with HIV who would like to talk to someone who understands their situation. Our HIV Peer Support Health Promotion Officer works from the Positive Living Centre (PLC), providing education, social, emotional and practical support. Our peer support groups offer a safe, supportive environment where topics such as treatments, relationships, disclosure, self-confidence, friendships and sexuality can be explored.
Choose a doctor
While some people decide to stay with their family doctor, you may want to change to someone who specialises in HIV. That way you get care from someone who is aware of the latest medical facts. Again, our Centre Clinic may be right for you.
HIV treatment has greatly improved. Studies have shown that there is a real benefit to early treatment, the earlier the better. It is a personal decision though, and perhaps the most important factor to consider is whether you are ready to start treatment. There are a variety of effective drugs that are easy to take, meaning that treating HIV has never been simpler, and will make a real difference to your health and wellbeing. For more info about Treatment check out TreatHIVnow.org.au
Useful links and resources
Other telephone support services
Provides callers with access to information and referral to relevant services for depression and anxiety related matters.
Provides 24-hour, 7-day counselling, information and referral on alcohol and drug-related matters.
Ph:1800 888 236
HIV & Sexual Health Connect Line:
The HIV and Sexual Health Connect Line is staffed by professional community and health promotion workers who have an understanding of the medical and social implications of HIV and other sexually transmissible infections. 10am – 6pm, Monday to Friday.
1800 038 125
Life Goes On:
Emergency counselling for people affected by life threatening illness. 6am – 11pm, 7 days a week.
1300 364 673
A 24-hour confidential telephone support, information and referral service for men with family and relationship problems, especially around family breakdown or separation.
Ph: 1300 789 978 or www.mensline.org.au
Gay and Lesbian Switchboard:
Provides counselling, referral and information to the GLBT community. Monday - Thursday 6pm - 10pm (Wed 2pm -10pm) Friday, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 6pm - 9pm.
Ph: Melbourne (03) 9663 2939, Regional Victoria and Tasmania 1800 184 527
Suicide prevention, crisis support & mental health services. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Ph: 131 114