Christabel Millar

The English Rose

Christabel MillarImagine arriving in a new country at 21 years of age, no friends, little family, dealing with a mental health condition and then being told you are HIV positive. Our guest found herself in that position over 8 years ago.

Today she is the youngest women to ever be on the board of directors for Living Positive Victoria and was recently appointed the Health Promotions and Communications Coordinator for Positive Women.

She is one of the new breed of inspirational voices in Australia’s HIV response. Softly spoken, super smart and gentle to the core, she is elegant, polite and proper. But don’t be fooled, she is no push over.

Meet the English rose whose softness is the foundation of her resilience and determination, meet the amazing Christabel Millar.

To contact Christabel at Positive Women email:  healthpromotion at positivewomen dot org dot au

Love, Happiness and Luck.

Double HappinessVictoria’s Health Minister Jill Hennessy launched the Double Happiness campaign last year, promoting the transformative potential that biomedical advances in science can have in the HIV response.

But is an unfunded, community campaign enough to deliver no new HIV infections in Australia?

The AMAZING Cath Smith heads to Melbourne’s Gay nightclub Sircuit to ask positive and negative people, what impact TasP and PrEP are having in their lives.

The Making of a Leader

John Manwaring at AIDS 2014

John Manwaring representing Australia’s positive population at the conclusion of AIDS 2014

For ex gay survivors and positive people that have struggled with their sexuality and faith, John Manwaring’s story is inspirational.

Born and raised a Mormon, John moved from the USA to Australia over 8 years ago, for love.

Since then he has volunteered and worked for both Living Positive Victoria and the Victorian AIDS Council while studying law.

John is an extraordinary orator – powerful, emotional, evocative and inspirational, he has the ability to command the attention of stadium and bring a tear to all eyes therein.

It was John who was selected to speak on behalf of HIV positive people at the conclusion of AIDS 2014.

Recently John was appointed by the Andrew’s Labor Government as a senior policy adviser for the HIV response in Victoria.

Sero Stories with Ian Down

Ian Down Sero Study

Ian Down from The Kirby Institute – UNSW

When it comes to knowing who, what where, how and why gay men in Australia become HIV positive, very few people know more than Ian Down.

Ian is a research associate behind the Sero Conversion Study Report, conducted by the Kirby Institute at the UNSW in Sydney.

The Seroconversion Study has existed in various forms since 1992, providing valuable insights into the lives of people recently diagnosed HIV-positive. It has charted the sexual behaviours, activities, relationships and attitudes of (mostly) gay men, as they come to terms with the reality of living with HIV.

Over the decades, it is this report that has informed policy-makers, guided health communicators and provide information to aid the development of targeted responses to those living with, affected by HIV.

inside HIV’s Dean Beck was asked to write a preface in this, the latest – and the last – sero conversion report.  A pdf of the report can be found here.

With TasP and PrEP transforming Australia’s HIV response, the Government’s decision to no longer fund this stud is difficult to comprehend.

Funding submissions to continue the sero conversion study have twice been refused by Government.

However, last December the Kirby Institute lodged a third submission to Government for funding. A decision is expected by the middle of 2017.

Ian Down will submit his PhD thesis this week.  We wish him all the very best.


Dean Beck

inside HIV host Dean Beck

Award winning journalist Mark Kearney interviews inside HIV host Dean Beck for an article that featured on page 4 of the Bendigo Advertiser on December 1, 2016 – World AIDS Day.

The last time Dean featured in the Bendigo Advertiser was over 30 years ago – he was just 15, and had won the Bendigo Easter Fair Student Designer Fashion Parade.

This is the interview, literally as it unfolded.  Read Mark’s article here.

From The Ashes

HIVmeIn April 2016 Camden Tilley received his positive diagnosis just days before his 22nd birthday.  It’s been a tough slog since then as the destructive forces of internalised stigma took hold of Camden’s life culminating in a suicide attempt.

After hitting rock bottom, Camden has turned his life around and is now undertaking an artistic project to shed light on HIV stigma’s darkness. A story of amazing resilience.  Find out more about Camden’s project HIVme.

My mate Brett

I’ve known Brett since he was 19 years old.  He was a cheeky little smart-arse back then and not much has changed.  He is a good mate of mine and now 31 years old.

Brett is eloquent, articulate, private school educated and now has two degrees. So how did this adopted child raised by an ex-army, ultra-conservative Anglican Minister and his wife, end up HIV positive at 21?

In his own words, this is Brett’s story.


SlammingWARNING: Strictly Adult Content.

Slamming. Blasting. Whacking.

Whatever you call it, it’s gay men injecting crystal meth and having sex.

In this episode of inside HIV we explore one man’s story of how he went from being a white collar worker earning six figures, to having the Salvation Army give him food vouchers to survive.

It’s a confronting story that is raw and true.  But it’s also a story of how he got himself out of that situation so that he could become a functioning member of society again. So that our guest may remain anonymous we have disguised he voice.

Resources: Turning Tina, Touch Base

ChemSex 2.0

ChemSex 2.0The movie ChemSex shocked the world – highlighting in graphic detail, the sexual connection that gay men have to meth.  In this episode we talk to the star of that movie David Stuart from London’s ChemSex Clinic, and local activist Nic Holas about the role of community in the ChemSex response.

Resources: The Institute of Many, Turning Tina, Touch Base

Later in the episode we catch up with JOHN who has his own shocking story to tell.

World AIDS Day 2016

World AIDS Day 2016 - Victoria

From left: Gareth and Heather, Hon. Jill Hennessy, Richard Keane and Associate Professor Edwina Wright

There are far too few opportunities for the broader community to hear the stories of positive people. World AIDS Day is the one day each year that allows us to connect and inform.

On 1st of December 2016, we went to the community launch of World AIDS Day in Victoria.  The theme for the day was “HIV is still here; and it’s on the move.”


Hon. Jill Hennessy – Victoria’s Health Minister

Richard Keane – President, Living Positive Victoria

Associate Professor Edwina Wright – Alfred Hospital

Gareth and Heather – Positive Speakers Bureau of Living Positive