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Living with HIV

Personal Stories

HIV-related stigma still exists and is often fueled by misconceptions. These courageous Kiwis have shared their stories to break the silence that surrounds HIV and change attitudes in New Zealand.

Living with HIV

Personal Stories

Judith 42, Straight, Auckland

You can live with the virus, but the stigma will kill you emotionally. I encourage you to talk about HIV; that is the only way we can fight the stigma.

Living with HIV

Personal Stories

Lance 45, Gay, Wellington

We are people living with a chronic illness, but we are normal people, worthy of love and respect. It's time to start talking about this disease.

Living with HIV

Personal Stories

Gayle 52, Straight, Southland

My message is that people are people. New Zealand thinks it’s Godzone, but it’s a little bit closed-minded. We needed to accept each other and love each other.

Living with HIV

Personal Stories

Michael 63, Gay, Auckland

As far as I’m concerned, I don’t have the problem – you have the problem. Because you need to learn to accept the way I am, because I’m no different, it’s just that I carry HIV.

Living with HIV

Personal Stories

Jan 67, Straight, Southland

I was lucky that I wasn’t treated any differently... I think that because of the way I was infected I didn’t suffer from the stigma that often goes along with an HIV infection.

Living with HIV

Personal Stories

Jewel 39, Straight, Auckland

Some of the positive stories that have come from my HIV diagnosis are that I’ve learnt who my real friends are and I’ve gotten closer to my family. I’ve also learnt to love myself.

Living with HIV

Personal Stories

Shane 55, Straight, Northland

Most people have a 1970’s/80s perspective of HIV. I’m on one pill a day for the rest of my life, and as long as I stick to that, I expect I’ll live to 90.

Living with HIV

Personal Stories

Campbell 24, Gay, Sydney

To those who have HIV, like me: you are normal, you are loved, you matter and you are important. Together we can dust off the cobwebs of over 30 years of stigma.

Living with HIV

Personal Stories

Twiggy 30, Straight, Sister

Families are forever.

Living with HIV

Personal Stories

Rhys 31, Gay, Auckland

No matter what, I have the support that I need to get me through anything.

Living with HIV

Personal Stories

Charlie 31, Gay, Auckland

HIV isn’t a cause for shame or some dirty little secret... I firmly believe that the more honesty and frank discussion we have about HIV, the better.

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