Think Well - Live Well - Be Well

Inspiring stories to empower resilience, inform and connect from positive people just like you.

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

URGENT TasP Campaign Needed

Miidsumma Carnival 2017In this episode, VOX POP SHOCK: journalist Shannon Power heads to Melbourne’s annual LGBTI Festival, the Midsumma Carnival to ask gay men what they know about Treatment as Prevention (TasP) and HIV prevention methods.  Their answers will shock you!

The last national TV advertising campaign on HIV was the highly stigmatising Grim Reaper AIDS ad.  The time has come for a national TV campaign that undoes the damage of that advert.  A national campaign that educates everybody, undetectable = un-infectable, is urgently required.

Then, having returned from a family wedding interstate, Dean takes our 36yo newly diagnosed guy John, out for a coffee to see how he is doing.

Meet Marianne. A World Champion.

MarianneIn this episode we meet Marianne, one of the first women in Australia diagnosed HIV positive.

Her remarkable story of resilience, strength and determination, at a time when science and medicine offered little hope, should inspire all.  Turning to alternative therapies, Marianne maintained her health, wellbeing and sanity through good nutrition, diet and exercise. Those exercises would ultimately lead to her to becoming a competitive body builder.

She is courageous, an inspiration, a fighter and a World Champion.

ASHM Conference Report – Part 2

Launching At ASHMThis episode is part 2 of our report from the Australasian HIV Medical Conference – ASHM 2016.  If you missed part 1, you can check it out here or download it from itunes.

On the AFAO community stage, a special symposium featured many of the most exciting developments happening, for positive people.

Launching Australia’s first national campaign specifically designed to improve the lives of positive people was Aaron Cogle, CEO of the National Association of People with HIV Australia (NAPWHA).  Aaron explains the evolution of the Good Quality Of Life campaign.

NAPWHA also played a part in the development of a world first.  MyLife+ is a smart phone app that helps positive people manage their health and wellbeing.

Oonagh Rocks, Community Affairs Manager at ViiV Healthcare discusses the development of the app, before introducing Bill Patterson, NAPWHA’s Operations Manager. Bill highlights the importance of integrating the lived experience of positive people, regardless of how technologically advanced the MyLife+ app is.

This symposium was where and this podcast series for positive people, launched. Caleb Hawk, the Communications Coordinator of the Victorian AIDS Council, provides some background before Dean Beck officially launches the project.

We also discover the difficulty Doctors have in defining the relationships of men who have sex with men (MSM).  Dr Vincent Cornelisse from Melbourne Sexual Health Centre reveals some fascinating insights from his research.

MyLife craig

ASHM Conference Report – Part 1

ASHM Conference 2016Developments in science, medicine, treatment and prevention have dramatically changed over the last 30 years of Australia’s HIV response.

The Australasian Society of HIV Medicine Conference held in Adelaide in November 2016, gave our peak health organisations a chance to share information, collaborate on projects, get updated on the latest advancements and connect with people living with HIV.  But what’s in it for you and me?

It was my first time to the ASHM conference and I was keen to find out if these events actually achieved anything, so I spoke to:

Joel Murray – policy adviser at Living Positive Victoria

Nicholas Parkhill – CEO of ACON Health NSW

Jason Asselin – Research Assistant at Burnet Institute

Associate Professor Mark A Stoové – Burnet Institute

Brent Allen – EO Living Positive Victoria

And we see how John is doing having returned home to his family for the first time following his HIV positive diagnosis.

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