New Group for People Living with HIV Reaches Residents across BC
July 2015 - Vancouver - “How are you doing?” For people living with HIV(PLHIV), feeling lonely and isolated is common
due to the stigma surrounding the virus—so a simple question like this, asked by someone who knows what you are going through
and how to help, can mean a lot. It can also start a connection—to peers who can give emotional support,
or to a healthcare provider. To help PLHIV establish this vital link, Positive Living BC has launched a new
online peer support group, Online Connec+. The group, the first of its type in BC to be affiliated with an
HIV/AIDS service organization, will provide HIV education, support and community referrals to people
throughout BC, who might otherwise be unable to access these key services.
Online Connec+ will be facilitated by Positive Living BC’s Peer Navigators. A Peer Navigator is an HIV-positive person who helps PLHIV develop
HIV self-management strategies and gain knowledge. Peer Navigators are trained and educated on health
issues surrounding HIV/AIDS, self care, safer sex, sexually transmitted infections, and disease progression.
Says program leader Michael Crate, “Online Connec+ was started as a natural extension of the Peer Navigator
program. The group will be an open format meeting. We will talk about what is currently going on for participants
in relation to their HIV diagnosis. This might include health, treatment or self-care issues, stigma, isolation, disclosure,
or dating. Peer Navigators will be there to facilitate the group, or do one-on-one counseling.”
Notes Elgin Lim, Positive Living BC’s manager of programs and services, “Living with HIV can be isolating, particularly in smaller communities.
Online Connec+ can help people feel less alone, allow people to share experiences, and provide
an opportunity to make new connections with other people living with HIV, no matter where
they are in the province.”
Online Connec+ is open to anyone iving with HIV in BC. All genders, sexualities and ages are welcome.
The group will meet twice a month on Monday night from 6:30 pm to 8 pm.
For more information or to participate, people can call Positive Living BC’s toll-free number (1-800-994-2437)and leave a
confidential voicemail, or email Michael Crate at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Positive Living Society of British Columbia exists to enable persons living with HIV and AIDS to empower themselves through mutual support and collective action.
Director of Communications
Positive Living Society of BC
POSITIVE LIVING BC is dedicated to empowering persons living with HIV/AIDS through mutual support and collective action. We are a Registered Non-profit Society (#11928-2085) and an established leader in the HIV/AIDS movement. Uniquely among major agencies in Canada, the POSITIVE LIVING BC Board of Directors is composed entirely of HIV+ members.
Formerly known as the British Columbia Persons With AIDS Society (BCPWA) and with a membership of more than 5,000 HIV+ members, we are Western Canada's largest AIDS service organization and a proud history spanning three decades.
"Reproduced with permission - POSITIVE LIVING BC"
POSITIVE LIVING BC
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