I work as a Peer Tester in our Christchurch centre called “Te Toka” which means a rock or solid place and that’s what I want it to be for all of the people who come through here. Coming from a background of working in the forestry industry and an early stint working with street kids in Christchurch, most of my career has been people focussed.
I am pleased to be part of the Aids Foundation’s Ending HIV campaign which has a three-pronged approach of “Staying Safe”, “Testing Often”, and “Treating Early” with the aim of ending new HIV transmission by 2025. Providing good quality information around staying safe helps men and woman make better decisions about how to look after themselves. I strive to make testing as safe and easy as possible for everyone by being as accepting, non-judgemental and supportive as I can, so that regular return visits will become an easy and natural part of life. I often refer people who have deeper needs to our excellent in-house counselling service and when a positive result occurs I like to help make the journey to early treatment as smooth and painless as possible.
Recently I have taken our testing service out to parties and events where people most at risk are, to make the service even more accessible and to normalise testing.