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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride in zero.com. [00:00:05] My name is Charlie [00:00:08] was diagnosed in 1985 and Wellington but I shifted back talking in 1992, to transfer with job. [00:00:18] The only people in autumn that were around for people living with HIV was the AIDS Foundation, which I found out through the hospital. space was at the hospital, Dr. Mark, Mark Thomas, he put me on to them to get some help, which I went through and [00:00:35] and I saw one of the counselors there, I told them what was wrong and [00:00:40] what specialist and he just caught me off, didn't do a thing for me. So I went home, and got in touch with the specialist again. And he said he was very positive. [00:00:52] So I can avoid it. [00:00:55] If I helped me, AIDS Foundation didn't do anything for anybody, if you will, good luck. They would if you were a young person [00:01:04] in the mid 80s, having a diagnosis like that, what what does that mean? [00:01:11] When they didn't give me any help me to not because I didn't know what to do. [00:01:16] The prison attitude was my specialist in the hospital. And I couldn't leave him 24 seven. [00:01:22] There was just no nobody else to turn to. [00:01:25] Didn't mean a lot. They were my first port of call. They didn't nothing for me. So just kicking myself. [00:01:33] Can you recall, the first time you came to Bali positive? [00:01:38] He said was here. [00:01:40] And behind the counter was a lady by the name of Karen. [00:01:44] What did it mean to you to come to poly positive [00:01:47] with me a long time to [00:01:50] trust anybody else. That it took a lot It was a friend of mine told me all this advice you can go to they can help you. So I came with him. You had to come with me to come by myself and to sign up. And I think they'll come in very positive [00:02:06] anyway. So what the body positive offer and those early years friendship, [00:02:13] place to sit and talk with everybody else. I didn't know there were so many people living with HIV and offered and they will come in here. So yeah, it was a place of friendship and just getting to know everybody else. And I wasn't the only person living with it. I've been the one diagnosed the longest. [00:02:30] I think it was [00:02:33] at that time, what was the membership, like equity positive in terms of you know, science was a lot of people. [00:02:42] people I met [00:02:44] that wasn't all that much, was only just over the past few years that coming back to it and going to the retreat with others a bigger, bigger membership. What retreat, have ever retreated, rematch. for HIV, me living with HIV, they retreated back. So I think that's where a lot of people come out. And it used to be HIV, it's just so much that yourself go [00:03:12] enjoy the company of everybody else. [00:03:15] Wrong, when did you get involved with bottle positive, [00:03:17] about five years ago, I joined by the positive. I was coming in to see Bruce the CEO. And he had a small position available, doing a survey on the phones and from my telecom background. He said, Look, I've got two weeks of work, you can you can call this and do the survey calling our members. And, and there was a little bit of money in it available to pay me and also a little bit for the organization itself. [00:03:55] Did that and then a position came up to who [00:04:02] do part time position came up with one of the [00:04:07] people were leaving. So I I did that and as soon grew into a full time position as a full time receptionist, come application funding application writer and really know that sort of thing. So So hints I am here today, just carrying on that work and absolutely love it. [00:04:37] You say funding applications, does that mean that their body positive is [00:04:43] independent and always kind of looking for for funding? Or does it come under some other organization? [00:04:49] No, we're we're totally independent. And we rely on philanthropic organizations to survive, we do have a small government contract. And that came about around two years ago. [00:05:05] And so we we still need to contact the philanthropic organizations to survive, to pay our rent to pay the overheads of our location here and also the staff as well as providing the services that we do. [00:05:23] What kind of services do you provide now, [00:05:26] we have a range of of services, [00:05:29] there is the drop in center itself which anyone can drop in, can use the internet, they can sit and relax, watch a DVD, [00:05:40] they can come in and have a coffee or tea and and chat with other members in a safe, secure environment. We offer counseling. [00:05:52] So for those that that feel the need to talk to someone one on one, we offer that we also have what they call positive hellscape. And that is an amazing scheme, which has been going for around two years now. Whereby for a yearly fee, members can get a range of services for free. The services, doctors, free doctors charges, so no charge to go and see a doctor pharmacy charges so subsidized [00:06:28] pharmacy charges. [00:06:31] We have the counseling Of course. [00:06:34] And we have podiatrists or providers comes in once a month. And they can have three of those a year. [00:06:42] We have two masters that come in, they come in twice a week. And so they the member can have six of those per year [00:06:53] we run a budgeting service. So for those that can't quite manage their money, they can come in and do that we have a stop smoking group, we have a range of [00:07:05] outside groups. When I say outside, it's still a body positive group of groups, one as the under 35. Group, which we which meet once a month. And that's for under 35. People that are positive, where they can be within their own age range. It's run by the same lady Charlie talked about Karen Richie. So she's still involved with us and she keeps keeps that group secure. [00:07:37] They called her mother, which was absolutely wonderful. And she is like a she is Yeah, she's actually a grandmother, but she she is called mother. We also have the club Phoenix group, which is on a Wednesday night. And that is really good. It's for those that working? Well, those even you don't have to have a job to come to this install come along. And it's run on a Wednesday night, every Wednesday night where people can come after work, they can have a meal, and basically sit down and relax and socialize. And talk we have another group, which was run probably want three, three times a year, and that's called six on six, and six, that's six guys. [00:08:32] For six weeks, at 6pm. On a particular night, it's usually a Monday night for six weeks in a row. And this group is generally for those that want to know more about HIV more about the care and support aspect of it. The first meet the first week, they tend to talk about what the next five weeks are going to be about. And as the group that decides what those topics are going to be, for example, they might decide that they want a specialist to grow him and talk about the virus or talk about treatment, might want a dietitian to come in and talk about food, that sort of things. So they have some really great successes. And of course, in the within the group there is generally [00:09:24] one or two that are long term survivors and normally three or four that that are not [00:09:32] and some newly diagnosed people. So yeah, it's it's really it's good to be able to share and find out information from others about that. About the virus and about the [00:09:48] Yeah, about the the treatment. [00:09:51] So you mentioned the kind of peer to peer support. Why is PHP support so important? What What do you get out of [00:09:59] it? I think peer support is very important because [00:10:04] especially for a newly diagnosed person. [00:10:08] The people that are newly diagnosed, have not been on a journey. They haven't known about the treatments, they they generally are very scared of very isolated, they think it's only happening to them. And then of course, when they find out that there's lots of, you know, people out there with providers, then, and some long term survivors. It's very good for them to be quizzed for the newly newly diagnosed person to to quiz. Nowadays, it's no longer a death sentence. And that's the first thing I think for a positive person [00:10:51] that's newly diagnosed if they can hear that, because they stole the they stole the belief out there in the general public that it's a gay man's disease. And that the eventual the eventual fate of stiff, were you more likely nowadays to die of a heart attack or natural causes that sort of thing? [00:11:16] So in fact, we had a specialist come several months ago. And we asked him that question, What the What is the difference between a the average life expectancy between a positive and a negative person? And the special said five years? Five years difference? So it's really nothing nowadays? Okay, you have to still take your tablets every day. And that's a [00:11:41] conscious decision that you have to make to, to be to stay alive. Because without those tablets, we would all die. [00:11:51] Yeah. [00:11:53] Generally, how long does it take from somebody being diagnosed to come into a support group by body positive, [00:12:00] it really differs from each person very, because each person has to handle it in a different way. So handle it quite well. And some do not take it quite well. We get some people with it for a number of years before they even start taking the medication that what are they done wrong? You know, are they should they be worthy enough to live? They're asking themselves that question, and yet putting themselves to this mentality of something that's not normal for them. So they're going through is a normal abnormal journey, where their mentality takes them is a totally different place. And it's usually a dark hole or dark place where they feel that everyone hates them. And that they feel that they're in a dark place where there is no support. And that's why a lot of them literally scream out. And for others, they see that, Oh, don't be a drama queen about it, you know, but that's what they're doing. They're just trying to find something scenes as to where to find support, we just start with the beginning. [00:13:04] You know, am I going to die? It's, a lot of them feel like that, you know, we they do want to not take the medication, and they do want to [00:13:17] exterminate the existence that they have now. And rather than live through the status of and the pressures of living with HIV, not only do you live with the mentality of it, but also the stigma behind it as well. [00:13:31] And I think another thing is to, they don't understand that HIV is totally different eight, let's start two different things. Let's get HIV. And I think I'm going to dive right, exactly, and [00:13:46] two different things are going to live through HIV, not take your tablet, and then you get taken. So that's it's just not understanding that HIV is not 8am [00:13:59] had to live through. For when a lot of people were being first diagnosis that we literally had to wait to we were such, it's such a sixth day up to such a state where we're not really well. We [00:14:17] have [00:14:17] Yeah, before we can take medication. That's, that's now you gotta, [00:14:22] you know, put on medication straight away. Yeah, that's only happening now. And that's just happening now. Yeah, it's just taking part, not a [00:14:31] lot of support from the hospitals and every medication and everything. [00:14:36] which way to go got the only human straight on? [00:14:40] Yep. When I was diagnosed 2012, I had to wait until my city forecasts were below 150. [00:14:48] Whereas now, the even just reviewing that, and thinking that people should, when they're first diagnosed, they should go straight on medication. But getting the monster medications, definitely cold enough heaven to support them through that mental status that they're going through. And I cannot die. two distinct things. And disclosure, which is another thing, who knows who's going to find out. So you live in the secret squirrel lifestyle, where you and then develops in the developing from the other different personalities you create, and some psychosis to schizophrenia. But in the end, again, you're learning learning about something games or creating something and thing at the end, for you to take medication, you're so many of these things. Which can could have been easy, what if we just had simple support, they had support there. And now with what BP offers, this is support for all those who do have it. And those who are about to go through those stages, been recently diagnosed, which is a scary thing. [00:15:59] That in really kind of the first protocol, [00:16:03] which is quite hard for them, but [00:16:07] we have a number of people that will do a test, and will go to do a follow up and they won't come back in. Because they're scared. And that is a very scary thing. At least they know now that they have the virus. Whereas before they didn't know. [00:16:26] And they didn't know they would possibly go out and have unsafe sex. Now they know they may still go out and have unsafe sex, but at least in the back of their mind, they know that they have this and they are [00:16:42] told at the initial diagnosis that eventually you will need treatment. [00:16:49] And know with our advice that we need to get them into the hospital care so that we can monitor when that treatment starts. [00:16:58] So yeah, it's a it's a scary time for a newly diagnosed person. And I think support is very important. [00:17:08] One thing that you mentioned was disclosure. And I'm wondering, is disclosure, like coming out that actually it's not just a one time thing that actually in every situation, you're always kind of weighing out by disclosed or not? [00:17:21] You have to not by not by law, if you're going to have sex with anybody without a condom, you have to disclose? Yes, whether you like it or not, [00:17:29] yeah. [00:17:30] If you if you don't want to say that you're HIV positive, if you use a condom, then you don't have to, you don't have to, because you're taking all the necessary precautions to stop the transmission. So then you're safe, the other person safe. [00:17:49] And there's no reason to disclose. [00:17:52] Does disclosure happen on different situations like say like a workplace or in other situations other than kind of non sexual [00:17:59] is? Yeah. [00:18:02] disclosure is up to the individual and, and certainly, apart from having unprotected sex and sharing a needle, there's no other way that you can get it. So in a workplace, you can't pick up the virus from another person unless you have those things that I've just mentioned. So but there's still the stigma out there, he's got eight, even though he's got HIV that people say he's got eight. So it's still that stigma. Even now, and we get, we get people coming in and saying my dentist won't treat me, which is totally illegal. Or the dentist is [00:18:43] talking to his staff about me, in my ear shot about our double glove with this one, because he's got the virus, I mean, it's okay to double glove, but they shouldn't be double grabbing for everyone. Because you're more likely to get hepatitis from a person than HIV in that sort of situation. So, yeah, this there's a whole lot of fear, even in the medical world. And it's just through lack of education. [00:19:13] So I believe that there's not enough education in within New Zealand anyway, and probably the rest of the world to educate everyone about the virus and how it's transmitted, and [00:19:30] all that. [00:19:31] So it was it something that body positive, Dallas was actually the [00:19:33] outreach education type thing we do, we need to do more. Our mandate is really cure and support for people living with the virus. New Zealand AIDS Foundation, is about [00:19:46] education. [00:19:49] So I believe that, you know, the education isn't happening as much as maybe they're coming up maybe New Zealand AIDS Foundation, they're coming up with brick walls, and schools, and I don't know, and in general public, but this certainly could be more done around education, we try to educate when and testing there was when a person comes to have a have a test, we talk about sexual practices and how it's passed on. And and all that. [00:20:21] You know, in the pre and post is counseling, I still believe in schools, they should be a lot more, not only with HIV, but with other sexually transmitted diseases. [00:20:34] How [00:20:35] do things on the media affect the body positive membership, I'm thinking of the recent crush case where a child was, had to disclose the conventional the status, but also things like the weekly news case from a couple of years ago. How did those major media stories affect the membership? [00:20:58] Me knows a lot of people together. [00:21:03] from doing that, I found coming here, but you really were more of a family. People that you never spoke to that you just said hello, now again, and that was as they got closer to another real supportive another, people together with the towel thing you're talking about up north? Yeah, that's, that was unfortunate, because they had people going up there telling people what to do. And they didn't know the job. It wasn't a job to do it. [00:21:36] Speak up to married people the way they should live in the first place. And done what they did. Should have been somebody from the AIDS Foundation, nobody positive. [00:21:47] So the uneducated people are going up and telling people things that they don't even know anything about. And being married. It's ridiculous got married over a lot of things. With our race. We don't know enough to a lot of people were very private. And to be HIV, even to be gay. It's a big thing. Because if you're a man, you're meant to be a warrior. [00:22:12] In the gay world, different story, you're not a warrior, your [00:22:19] disclosures a funny thing, and it's bringing food to squeeze to with us, the professional education facilities or family were hits home, the most family disclosed, family was affected even more in the hearts. When you have discretion to each case of facilities like university or schools or subsidized, then it's the it's the fear of being known. And that's what society is these days, you can't walk out your house and have people have people poking their fingers. Okay. [00:22:52] And so that's the different areas and fear. But what we have at the BP as a collective group, that literally united underneath that fear, and knowing that we are HIV positive, we've acknowledged it and accepted it, and will be telling ourselves that it's not a death sentence [00:23:11] and say it more often. And it's not exactly just about hitting 30 years, I'm still alive. Exactly. 21. [00:23:18] And in say, they say that which case one like the crash, moles. Even when the eve when Eve came from Australia, that should have been the first time that we Zealanders are more capacity educational about this. It's not a disease that you can touch liking to each other. Let's, let's promote a people fear the most of can we get it from touching, the more the sneezing and also looking at us [00:23:47] is to the motor transit transmission that you have to each case belt. It's just like people with cancer. You know, back in the 19, quizzes, even with Kansas shipped to Stewart Island, in the 1950s. They were allowed back. Why was that? They educated them about cancer, there's not contagious hepatitis feeds. So they are not like them and isolate them. [00:24:09] with HIV, it's not contagious. [00:24:14] You can live to a ripe old age, taking the proper medications, and looking after yourself well. But when you get out of it, you see, a lot of people would see the changes in their lives that they have to make, you know, the lifestyle as well Pepsi's not going to pay as much or drink as much or smoke as much like they used to. But they can definitely see the changes on their bodies that HIV does. [00:24:40] Where they take the medications, it's entirely up to them is because I still live in them that fear of disclosure, [00:24:47] finding that support, they also have to look for it on their own. It's not that easy, be nice if they had someone, guide them. But unfortunately, they literally have to do everything on their own. We already I had a lot of friends of mine, we had to, I had to look for Charlie on my own, who helped me join it positive and also got me off to my medications as well. So being diagnosed six years ago, without medication, I could easily feel my body deteriorating and see myself deteriorating. I just would not seek help. Because you party for the fear, [00:25:22] smoke, the smoke for the higher [00:25:24] of disclosure, yep, that's when I went into that dark room dark hole for years close, couldn't strike myself silly, got stoned totally and just wasn't in oblivion. Every day, I want to face reality, and took me four years living in that hole that darkness in but I knew that there was light at the end of the tunnel. And [00:25:46] unfortunately, fortunately, I did find my light at the end of the tunnel. And he showed me a greater path to looking after myself and, and, and being and he could see the rock circles [00:25:59] him down. But just to hear someone say, look, look after yourself. hands go a long way. [00:26:09] Really, like even a smile goes a long way of support. And HIV goes all the way. [00:26:19] There's a difference between yet so when you disclose it, there are many areas you have to we have to find the courage to disclose it on, disclose it within our families want to disclose it within the professional world, the educational world of studies. If we go into if we decide to join a group, like a French club or bowling club, you know, they we have to go to certain things of how to disclose. So we're going to train ourselves and I and maybe they like counting guys from team, you know? Do they want us swimming with him? No, they don't. But how do we disclose it to them, the thing we have is the fear of being rejected [00:26:57] from any groups, any society. But we now that body positive, we will never be rejected, that we will always be supported here, no matter what [00:27:09] helped you reach out to somebody in that kind of limbo period, we have a Baronet kind of black hole of not wanting to [00:27:19] cope with you know, kind of reality, how are the things that you can do to actually let them know that body positive or support groups are out there and what [00:27:29] what basically what we do is either through the testing here at body positive or at six on site venues, we encourage them to take a deep breath, and we give them a very strong message that it's no longer a death sentence that there is a light through the tunnel that there is support out there for them. And that the next step really is to find out how far advanced the diagnosis is. So if they're an early, [00:28:07] they've just been had have transmitted just within the last few weeks, or whether it's a two or three year transmission. So then, once we know that information, then we can work out with a specialist. How long I've got before they go into need vindication. We set up counseling sessions for for basically an assessment, and then [00:28:34] you know, additional counseling sessions, right through to help them get through this. But I still think and these I'm sure these guys would agree that peer support and talking to other people that are positive, far outweighs [00:28:52] a counselor that is not positive, that has us had some experience with positive people, but it's not the same. [00:29:02] Certainly, I think [00:29:05] talking with others, and appear sports situation like a six on six fruit is far more powerful than counseling, it still has its place for other issues. But then, regarding the diagnosis, I think that peer support is the way to go. Because there was a there was [00:29:23] a group now positive speaker's bureau, where they train you to go out and speak about being HIV positive woman that do it. And we've just done done the course through for about five less than a couple weeks ago. And it was like lifting the little fingers. And you know, you felt you were to shame yourself for having [00:29:47] the burden of having it was just lifted, because you opened up to everybody there. [00:29:51] And that's what, that's what I felt like that we will build and with it, of having it that's not a person [00:29:59] anymore. It's just that we've got to get out and tell people what we've been through our journey. [00:30:04] And it's just having to live with it and how to live with them, and teaching others that you can live a fantastic life with that as well. Okay, Charlie has a perfect result. Little DNA from the dinosaur period. So, [00:30:22] yes, so, but the bodies, puzzle speaking weekend that we went through, they gave us a lot of courage within ourselves, actually, to go up to the public and actually educate [00:30:34] the people, our main aim is to hopefully target the vulnerable groups between the ages of 16. [00:30:42] But I think we could start something here for the six month subscription from the Bureau, we've been on of course can go and soon as the 660 just tell us to give them a wake up call, because not an easy journey. Not an easy journey to HIV. Now what is for them, because they've got all the support, they can all the support for them. And they just have to grasp it and go Go for it. [00:31:08] And with a bit of information out there about HIV testing, even the designer drugs that they have these days, that they've got drugs for everything. And the drugs that they have today, just absolutely wonderful, fantastic. Couldn't couldn't live without them, you know, literally, with the drugs when we didn't have HIV now. [00:31:30] You've got drugs for the body. But what about the kind of mental side of things? Is there any easier nowadays, on [00:31:38] that's, that's, that's, that's another journey in itself. We're both ones are learning how to get through it. [00:31:46] I think if they hook up with the right people, [00:31:50] and somebody can talk them through it, you know, be there all the time, don't support and stand stand by them and support them all the time. 24, seven, FIFA, they've got their, they'll get through, let's just having somebody to talk to you constantly, all the time to remind you that you're HIV, you're not alone if somebody needs help, [00:32:09] and the questions that they want to ask other questions that you cannot ask us, and professionals. Other questions, that usually happens in the darkroom, conversations like that, they would never come find it within the professional health professional. They don't see them as if [00:32:29] they were close with getting them to talk with another person, there's HIV, if not on the same age group, it just allows them to give them the opportunity to ask those direct questions of which you wouldn't have asked another it? How did you do it? How did you get it? Did you know how you got it? You know, and all that sort of stuff? [00:32:49] And what's in the gay community? It's not an easy thing to talk about, you know, where do you go? How do you can, it's all those little dark places that people go for six. So one, for the to actually sit them over another room with another gay person. So start with questions. It just relieves the stress. It's just released a small part of stress that they also have to [00:33:11] think [00:33:13] the question you had before them together, there's no need to ask them and I [00:33:19] got a know how to have a head, how they got it [00:33:23] needs to be [00:33:24] be more compassionate, you have to personally talking [00:33:26] but they needs to be reassured, you know, I'm sick. Do you know I'm sick? Yes, I do. Because you've got what I've got is, so it's a reflection. That's what reverse psychology type thing, [00:33:39] where helps them. So the main thing is compassion for people to be compassionate about HIV. The stigma is the HIV or Dude, it's your duty. [00:33:51] And a lot of people have to learn how to be compassionate. How to understand this, all of this, to read the books, if you can get the information. Three would get somebody to talk to them about [00:34:04] one of the things that the Gleaner was case brought up in the media was those all seem to be a lot of discrimination actually, within, say, the gay community in towards positive people. Absolutely. And where do you think the most discrimination control nowadays is actually within community or within the gay community? [00:34:27] I think because it's more close to us, you know, and it's, you know, certainly in a sexual sense, I mean, you know, we often get people, you know, coming in and saying, and not disclosing, because that's, they are scared, when they do disclose, I'll be rejected, even though they're using condoms. [00:34:52] So it's, it's, that still does happen. And, you know, even in workplaces, we've had some more places that have found out through possibly a medical check, or whatever, and, and they've broken the law because you can't discriminate against [00:35:13] someone with HIV. [00:35:17] Yeah, so that's, that's, that's where, where that happens a lot. [00:35:23] And one of the end these occasional cheats, we've got a, we've got someone who's applying for a natural path course. And even though boxing the two, and even amongst them to stand up close, discloses, by law, he Dominion medical status in front of the entire class, it doesn't have to be he doesn't have to production itself. But still, they still have that stigma out there, through the educational departments, institutes, not missing from our natural pairs, but also universities politics, telling those are there applications you'll see for them to disclose the medical [00:36:05] situations. And they've also specified, I don't know whether you have a look on the internet on the entry forms that specified what the conditions you have. So and it's quite scary for them as well, having to do that. [00:36:21] Same with the [00:36:24] insurance companies. [00:36:30] They will not show you, if you had HIV, if you look at the policies they had 10 years ago, yep. Zero policies 04 [00:36:40] HIV discussion and split squad doing similar. [00:36:43] If you look at it in the stigma, it came from the personal society, the common society, schools and education. And health was somewhere [00:36:55] because they weren't education, [00:36:57] but again, [00:37:00] governments [00:37:03] financially, as well. So they literally educated people, and let things are you know. [00:37:12] So that's where it all started really was from society itself. Wanting nothing to do with us, even their shirts come to us with to football. So yeah, it all started from there. And when they started get to know more about it from the 90s, in the last two years, [00:37:32] if they became more educated about it, but it's just reiterating the game, [00:37:37] just difficult. [00:37:39] 60 year old story. [00:37:44] And a lot of people don't like being told what to do as well. [00:37:46] I think it's just in the last 15 years, yeah, information is [00:37:50] going to come out. Because [00:37:52] the never makki delays always going through. It was taught by a specialist he taken tablets. [00:38:01] For composers motif, something in T cells were up and under, viral, open, undetectable, that when your viral it is undetectable, so you can pass it on to unibody just don't have to use petition to [00:38:13] produce protection plus stop your medication. [00:38:16] You're always be on medication with the HIV, [00:38:18] even BP even body positive and the members of poly positive have realized you know, how they used the word the word HIV with AIDS, it was always HIV slash AIDS. And that's what was next after HIV after it, you get AIDS, but they never separated to make a difference. And so that's why members at the body positive, it should be HIV and the AIDS virus rather than the associated with HIV slash aids, syndrome, AIDS and [00:38:51] HIV virus. [00:38:56] So you know, so but we're still learning. Everyone still today. Even the facility at the creation fun today, that I'll be coming to on the second of August, [00:39:09] and having to teach them and educate them of people living successfully with HIV provided, take the medications, you can live a normal life without be contagious. [00:39:24] One [00:39:25] of the big things happening this weekend is the queen of the whole universe beauty pageant. And one of the beneficiaries of the door sales from Queen of our universe is body positive. [00:39:37] How did Ali possible become involved with Queen Coinbase? [00:39:43] That was actually before my time of being here. But as I understand it, there are three organizations that are the beneficiaries of set ourselves positive woman and New Zealand AIDS Foundation. And for a number of years now they have been the recipients of the proceeds. And it's it's been a wonderful help, especially to [00:40:11] other woman and ourselves. Because back then, when it first came on board, we didn't have a government contract is New Zealand AIDS Foundation did. [00:40:22] But [00:40:24] the money was was absolutely fantastic and generally used for, [00:40:33] for members, predominantly, for people with a condition called library atrophy. And that is a facial wasting through the use of having to take out toxic drugs. [00:40:48] And it's often called the old man's look. So someone who has been on long to medication, especially the old regime of MIT, have [00:41:02] had this condition. And unfortunately, the because of the old man look, they tend to withdraw from society. So they stay home and they don't, they're on a benefit, generally, they stay home, they don't want to get out and back into society, I find it a struggle to go to the shops, for the stigma of of, you know, being recognized as a gaunt person, he must have AIDS. [00:41:34] And so it's been great because [00:41:39] a lot of that money has been used to treat the library atrophy. And what we do is what we've been able to do, the last number of years is inject a product called echo mud, into people's faces, very expensive product, but last for 15 years. So for each each patient is around 4000 [00:42:03] years old, and nobody told me, [00:42:05] so you don't need it. [00:42:08] You're [00:42:09] your middle age. And, and so [00:42:15] that's that in itself has been absolutely fantastic. For those on the on the receiving [00:42:22] end, we've seen some amazing success stories where people have been Shut, shut themselves away from society, and then they've had this treatment, and then suddenly they're out there working again, contributing to the government, you know, by way of Texas, enjoying life again. And, and not afraid to venture out the front gate. [00:42:50] So it's been great. And we still have a number of people around about 50 that are that are actually still in that [00:42:59] position [00:43:01] that that could actually benefit from, from this. Now with the [00:43:08] new regime of drugs, there isn't those sorts of side effects nowadays. So [00:43:14] which is great, that's really good. And as new drugs come on board, all these other side effects tend to drop away. So [00:43:29] not that we advocate people getting HIV, but if they suddenly do find that they are HIV positive, then there is treatment out there. It's good treatment. [00:43:39] So what do you think, some of the benefits of having such a large production say as Queen of the universe that has saved six messages and as a supporting body positive and other organizations? What are some of the benefits of that kind of thing? [00:43:56] I think the the benefits really are the way us of all the organizations because [00:44:04] the three shows that I've been to, they have had our logo on stage and positive and positive woman in New Zealand AIDS Foundation, the Buffy and bimbo have have actually spoken about our organization. So the awareness factor is very, very good. Most people, you know, they see it on a program as well. And there's a little synopsis of what the proceeds is going to go to, and what we're all about. So from that point of view, it's it's really, I guess, brand awareness for us. And who knows, there could be someone, a gay person going to the queen of the whole universe that sees the services that we offer, and then might just come in and have a test to find out. And they may welcome positive, and they don't know that. So from our point of view, I think it's, it's a great, great service to our now not only our community insofar as raising money for for our community, but also for the wider community to, to, to let them know that there is a place here, positive woman and New Zealand AIDS Foundation, [00:45:26] whereby they can get support, [00:45:30] you know, for any issues around around testing around, you know, being positive. In counseling. Yeah. [00:45:40] So it was pretty positive, specifically for Damien. [00:45:43] No, we have, we have around 40 to 45, probably about 45. Females within our group, we have a membership of around 600. So it's predominantly, I guess, you know, males, out of that this probably 100 straight, I need five straight males, the rest are gay, or bi. [00:46:08] And in the age range really is from we've got one member 1919 year old, right up to an 18 year old. So there's a huge [00:46:20] diverse [00:46:23] range of people within our organization. [00:46:28] And what about spread throughout the country is predominantly all condos. [00:46:32] It's predominantly Auckland only because we've got the Resource Center here in has the largest population of New Zealand, we have a number of members throughout throughout the country. And the positive health scheme that I mentioned before is actually spreading throughout New Zealand we've got we haven't got the same sorts of services that we can offer, like we do for club members. But we can offer, you know, we get one or two doctors in their area to be part of it in a pharmacy, and the optimist [00:47:11] the old podiatrist, you know, so there's, there's generally a basic range of services that they can offer. [00:47:18] And ideally, what we want to do within the next year or two is open up a branch within the Wellington area, and also the Christchurch area [00:47:31] to to replicate what we have here. So that is our, our, our goal for the next couple of years to do that, where we're going to have a retreat, like Charlie mentioned, for South Island members, the first one ever, in November this year. So, so that's really good, obviously, because we we have about 80 guys go to the Auckland and that's been Offerman and that's been [00:48:01] basically from all over New Zealand members coming but it's outgrowing that the services are the facilities. So we're thinking to herself all in one and a North Island One, two different times of the year. [00:48:17] Which is great, that's really good. [00:48:20] It must be quite something going to those retreats. [00:48:21] It's, it's relaxing, and you get to meet people that you've never met before. And you didn't think they had HIV. [00:48:33] HIV. So it was [00:48:36] a good it [00:48:38] is a self esteem building weekend where we're able to see a lot of different things and ourselves and each other really, and just unite as one people. And just the communication that you get for the entire weekend, we are able to totally not any different age groups or different races, [00:48:56] it doesn't matter what color you are, what color you are all the same HIV and [00:49:05] AIDS. And the only thing is that we try to see path of our own selves, our materialistic things that we hold on to so dearly. Which doesn't exist today for a lot of people that have HIV, because they literally have to let go of the old world and begin a new world of their own. They have to reteach themselves everything. [00:49:25] And they give up on their own world, the [00:49:28] sooner they live, then are able to see a better way of taking medications and see a bit of life, having to take medications [00:49:37] live in a [00:49:38] much healthier [00:49:41] life. So when you need medication over cigarettes and auto Yeah, 20 choose a life where you want to have a good time and [00:49:53] some people choose not taking medication. And eventually they die. We had a lady have a lady three years ago who who chose not to take medication. And she got down to a very beds state and her health. And then she decided that she wanted to try and take the medication. She died six months later because it was too late. [00:50:23] And she regretted she, she she regretted that initial decision because she wanted to party rather than take her medication. [00:50:35] So that that in itself is a choice that people have and you know, even today we have a number of members that choose not to not take medication for a variety of reasons, reasons that could be cultural. It could be that they believe in something else. They believe in, you know, what doesn't [00:51:00] that sort of thing, even the stress related [00:51:01] the stress factor later [00:51:05] can also help influence [00:51:09] so many things are happening in their lives, and may not be those particular things may be like for example coming from Christchurch earthquake situations, people are recently finding out they have HIV after going through the earthquake situations. We've got people who have gone through family issues, breaking child abuse and their family that's been going on with their lives, you know, [00:51:35] and having to deal with HIV, and people losing their family members losing the carrots with a loved one with the partners and having to find out their HIV. And so yeah, a lot of things that they go through can trigger them. Stress is one of the main factors [00:51:57] where they decide not to take the medication. [00:52:02] sharing the love compassion [00:52:05] helps them make helps them decide to live a better life. I love it. [00:52:14] If you've got HIV in somebody else's trying to come out you just got to have a good listening ear [00:52:19] in a friendly shoulders. That's all I knew. You saved them all. You got it from nothing better than that. Just going to push them away. And you just want to be compassionate to have a friendly year and a shoulder to cry on. So
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