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Ambassadors

  • Damien Stevens

    Damien Stevens

    Damien Stevens is Kildonan Uniting Care's Diversity Project's community development worker. The ‘Diversity Project’ aims to create a safer, more inclusive and healthier community in the City of Greater Shepparton and beyond for young people who are same-sex attracted, sex and gender diverse (SSASGD). Damien believes that good physical and mental health includes looking after our sexual health and being informed to make good choices.

    "I have lived and worked in Shepparton for 12 years. I am now 36 years old. I used to be part of the crowd that lacked information, and therefore lacked confidence when talking about HIV/AIDS. I'm certain I would have said something offensive and hurtful to someone living with HIV without even realising it, and certaining not meaning to do so. It wasn't long ago that I heard that HIV rates were at a 20-year high, with many new cases amongst young people. This prompted me to do something - to get educated, to be part of the solution, and no longer part of the problem. Ensuring the young people I work with get the right information, support and safer sex messages became a real focus for me. Living in a regional area can be a tough gig for SSASGD young people. Access to HIV medication and GPs is very limited."

    Damien invites you to pledge with him, "I pledge to challenge HIV stigma whenever and wherever I see it. I will not sit by and allow anyone living with HIV to fear disclosure. I will take action when I see others gossiping about, rejecting and/or promoting negative stereotypes about people living with HIV. I will stand up for, support and love my friends living with HIV. I ask you to do the same."

  • Sam Hibbins MP

    Sam Hibbins MP

    HIV stigma is a threat to the health of the Victorian community. By stigmatising HIV, we discourage people from testing and seeking treatment. The most effective way to reduce HIV transmission is for people to be aware of their HIV status. Ending HIV stigma will not only improve the lives of people living with HIV, but the entire community. As an ENUF ambassador, I am encouraging my electorate to pledge and get involved. ”.

    In 2014, Sam was elected to the state seat of Prahran as the first Greens MP to enter the Victorian Legislative Assembly. Sam is the Victorian Greens spokesperson for LGBTI, TAFE & Training and Youth.

    As Member for Prahran, Sam has focused on liveability and improving services for the local community, including public transport, open living spaces and public housing. At a state level, Sam is working towards implementing transparency in political donations, restoring the TAFE system, and equality law reform.

    Sam served as a Stonnington Councillor from 2012-14 and previously worked in social services.

  • Rowena Allen

    Rowena Allen

    As the Victorian Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality, I am a passionate advocate for all LGBTI Victorians and constantly work toward positive change for our community.
    Many Victorians are unaware that LGBTI Victorians are still experiencing discrimination every day in schools, workplaces, health settings and the broader community. As we know, this unfortunately also includes cases of HIV.

    As the Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality, part of my objective is to reduce such discrimination, stigma and stereotyping through awareness, discussion, education and government policy.

  • Sonke Tremper

    Sonke Tremper

    I first became aware of how much people living with HIV are affected by stigma and discrimination when I started working on clinical trials of new antiretrovirals in 2003. Later on, I worked on a program that enabled GPs to prescribe anti-HIV treatments in the community – working closely with living community organisations, particularly Living Positive Victoria. This really brought it home: Stigma does real harm. I was – still am – shocked by the lack of knowledge and understanding related to HIV and the people who live with it. Looking back, I am also shocked by how little I knew myself.

    Whose responsibility is it to address the issue? Discrimination against people living with HIV has a profound and lasting impact on the individuals directly affected, but also people at risk of HIV, families, friends, and probably others living with a stigmatised condition. It’s clearly an issue that affects society. I guess this means that we all have a responsibility to act, including individuals, communities, and governments. I also believe that, although the burden of stigma is borne by people living with HIV, they are not the source of it; stigma is a problem that, above all, people who do not live with HIV have to address.

    Not too long ago my family and I moved up to Shepparton, which embraces diversity like few other regional centres; actually, it thrives because of it. I know that I’m certainly not the first to say “ENUF!” here in Shepparton, but I’m proud I can lend my voice.

  • Dean Beck

    Dean Beck

    Dean Beck is an award winning broadcaster and content producer for Australia’s only LGBTI radio station, JOY 94.9FM in Melbourne Australia. He began on radio as the founder and Executive Producer of Hide and Seek – an award winning show about sex and sexuality, which he continues to produce and host.

    Dean is also the producer and presenter of the weekly LGBTI news and current affairs program, On The Line and is known for his critical analysis of politics, the HIV sector, sexual health and community issues.

    Dean coordinated and hosted JOY 94.9’s CBAA Award Winning 24 hour radio and video web streaming broadcast, World AIDS Day Worldwide, a global conversation held on December 1 2013.

    From scientific breakthroughs to the lasting legacy of the AIDS 2014 and beyond, Dean’s coverage of the conference was the most comprehensive of any Australian journalist. He delivered in-depth interviews with IAS Organising Committee Members, keynote speakers, conference delegates and profiled key stakeholders from around the globe.

    His content from AIDS 2014 aired on JOY 94.9FM and on The Wire, a nationally syndicated daily current affairs radio program of which Dean is a regular contributor. His interview with international HIV and AIDS activist and blogger Mark S. King was featured on TheBodyPRO.com Dean moderated the Global Village Connect Webinars Series on behalf of AIDS 2014 conference organisers. Using the WebEx platform, webinar participants from around the world had the opportunity to ask questions and engage in a real time discussions with presenters based on conference presentations.

    Dean was the second person to be appointed an ENUF Ambassador, following Ji Wallace. In May of 2015 Dean went public with his HIV positive status to assist the Victorian AIDS Council’s lobbying for Federal Government approval of PrEP in Australia.

  • Deanna Blegg

    Deanna Blegg

    It can be difficult describing me as a person without including HIV, or having it define who I am. I like to think I live life independently of it and it doesn't affect me. However, daily there are constants, little reminders, like the pills I take, the snippets I hear in conversations, and the reality of the imperfections in how my body should function.

    It hasn't always been this way. There was a time it was constantly on my mind, and coping was a daily challenge. It was forever present and yes, it so defined the direction of my life.

    Diagnosed in 1994 at the early age of 24 and given 5 years to live, it was a huge STOP sign in my life when I had always felt life consisted of green for go.

    Being, fit, healthy and an athlete I never thought HIV would be a part of my life. How wrong I was.

    Fortunately, due to the combination of HIV medication, much support from family and friends and a healthy outlook on life, my health improved as did my vision for the future.

    Being a part of the Positive Speakers Bureau has been a very rewarding journey. The training and education I have been given, combined with life experience, allows me to educate the wider community. Story telling is a very powerful communication and education tool. It has definitely been a two way journey. The telling of my story and the acceptance and encouragement from the audience has definitely given me strength and courage to lose all shame associated with the virus. It has given me the strength to step forward in the community and be completely open about my status. To be well educated about HIV and STI is something I am really passionate about and I encourage everyone to make informed choices.

    Being solution focused was my main drive to achieving many successes in life. Yes, I have HIV in my body but how can I still achieve my goals?

    Having children was something I was originally told not possible. My daughter Tia and son Xanda are healthy, beautiful children and both living examples of following a dream. Many other HIV positive people are having children. A gift we always had thought was unobtainable.

    Health and fitness are still a vital part of my everyday life. Reaching elite levels in adventure racing and travelling internationally to compete has blown my mind. It is something I'd never have thought possible. It has once again proven the power of having a dream, setting a goal, and then making a plan.

    In every day life I hear too many people making excuses why they can't do things rather than finding a reason to do it. My life with HIV is an example of how to make your own journey of life regardless of the obstacles that can be thrown your way.

  • Rachel Berger

    Rachel Berger

    Rachel is a comedian, broadcaster, novelist, columnist, agitator, television entertainer, queen of stand-up satire and dominatrix extraordinaire.

    "Twenty years ago I first started to talk about HIV to an ignorant public primed by the media to alienate and discriminate”, Berger says. "Now we have more information, more independence, more dignity and healthier outcomes for people living with HIV. But regrettably stigma and discrimination continue to rear their ugly heads.”

    Berger, a celebrated Melbournian, is the daughter of Polish Jewish immigrants, who, back in the eighties experienced the sting of HIV-related stigma. "It was pointed out to me by a colleague that I'd been considered and then dumped from performing at a range of corporate events", she says, "because some individuals didn't want to risk booking a comedian who was publicly identified as lobbying for better education about HIV and more discretion with regard to HIV disclosure."

    Far from being deterred, Berger continued to champion the rights and dignity of people with HIV. "My failure to judge popular opinion correctly and thus gets no laughs means that I don't get work and therefore I don't eat. So far I've never weighed less than 62 kilos, so I'm guessing it must be working”, she says. "I've put the stigma of HIV through my comedy lens for more than twenty years because humour is a manageable middle ground, it allows people to laugh at reality and occasionally to make a shift – without feeling pushed.”

  • Alyson Campbell

    Alyson Campbell

    Alyson is Head of Graduate Studies in Theatre at the Victorian College of the Arts, The University of Melbourne, and is a theatre director. She is co-convenor of the International Federation of Theatre Research's Queer Futures working group and her research, practice and teaching share a focus on gender and queer theories and performance practices, affect in theatre, dramaturgy, and HIV and AIDS in performance.

    Recent publications include work on gay male subjectivities and HIV and AIDS in contemporary performance (Theatre Research International and Australasian Drama Studies) and on the queerzines of Ruth McCarthy (Performing Feminisms in Contemporary Ireland, (ed.) Lisa Fitzpatrick).

    From 2008 - 2011 she was director of the Queer at Queen's research and performance event at Queen's University Belfast, which formed part of the annual OUTburst Queer Arts Festival. She continues to work closely with OUTburst and collaborates regularly with longtime creative partner, playwright Lachlan Philpott, through their queer performance assemblage wreckedallprods.

  • Ben Riethmuller

    Ben Riethmuller

    Ben is an active member within the Melbourne Bear and Leather communities, and is committed to speaking up about HIV stigma and discrimination within the context of sero-discordant relationships (where one person is HIV positive and one partner is HIV negative).

    54.6% of HIV positive men report being in a sero-discordant relationship. Furthermore, one in ten new infections indicated that the source person was their regular partner. “Those infections are preventable and I want to share the incredible journey of how you can manage HIV together as a couple," says Mr Riethmuller, who is himself in a long term sero-discordant relationship.

    "HIV can be a barrier to relationships and some people still seen as a death sentence. These beliefs need to be challenged. It doesn’t matter if you are the positive or the negative partner, HIV can be managed and shouldn’t get in the way of healthy relationships", says Mr Riethmuller.

    At the core of the ENUF campaign is the ENUF pledge and anyone – whether HIV positive or negative – can add their support to the campaign by visiting enuf.org.au and signing the ENUF pledge and show their support for the ‘10 by 10 ENUF Manifesto.

  • Dennis Altman

    Dennis Altman

    Dennis, a Professorial Fellow in Human Security at LaTrobe University, is the author of twelve influential books, including AIDS and the New Puritanism, Global Sex, and Gore Vidal's America. This year, UQP republished his first book Homosexual: Oppression & Liberation to mark its fortieth anniversary. In 2006, The Bulletin listed Dennis Altman as one of the 100 most influential Australians, and he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2008.

    The End of the Homosexual? sums up changes in our understandings and perceptions of homosexuality over forty years, both locally and globally.

  • Natasha Stott Despoja AM and Mr Ian Smith

    Natasha Stott Despoja AM & Mr Ian Smith

    Former Senator and leader of the Australian Democrats, Natasha Stott Despoja AM joined Living Positive Victoria’s ENUF campaign with her husband, businessman Ian Smith and she hopes to speak out against the discrimination and stigma faced by women living with HIV.

    As a board member of beyondblue and Melbourne’s internationally renowned Burnet Institute, Ms Stott Despoja passionately advocates on mental health issues and improved health outcomes of disadvantaged and vulnerable communities around the world. A former adviser to Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett, Mr Smith is a partner at corporate and political advisory firm Bespoke Approach, is on the board of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne and works with a number of other not-for-profit organisations.

    “We have had nearly 30 years of progress in preventing, diagnosing and treating HIV around the world and Australia has been a leader,” said Ms Stott Despoja, “but at least one major impact of the illness has not changed – the stigma surrounding the disease.”

    While women make up a relatively small proportion of cases in Australia, globally HIV is disproportionally a disease of women and their children. The majority of people living with HIV, about 56 percent of adults, are women. In Australia, women make up about nine percent of all people living with HIV and this means their voices too often go unheard.

    “Awareness campaigns like ENUF are about challenging the negative stereotypes and discriminatory attitudes faced by all HIV-positive people. Natasha and I want to increase public knowledge of HIV stigma faced by women living with HIV, which can have a profound effect on their mental health and wellbeing,” said Mr Smith.

    “Natasha and I sit on a variety of boards independently, but this is the first time we will work together on a specific initiative,” he said. “It’s an ideal opportunity to combine our efforts for an incredibly important and all-too-often overlooked issue.”

    At the core of the ENUF campaign is the ENUF pledge and anyone – whether HIV positive or negative – can add their support to the campaign by visiting enuf.org.au and signing the ENUF pledge and show their support for the ‘10 by 10 ENUF Manifesto.

  • Edwin J Bernard

    Edwin J Bernard

    Edwin is the co-ordinator of the HIV Justice Network, a global information and advocacy hub for individuals and organisations working to end the inappropriate use of the criminal law to regulate and punish people living with HIV, established in 2010.

    In 2011, Edwin was named by POZ Magazine as one of the few non-Americans included in the POZ 100: "people, things and ideas we love" for his work advocating against overly broad HIV criminalisation.

    More recently he has worked as a consultant for UNAIDS on its 2013 guidance, 'Ending overly broad criminalisation of HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission: Critical scientific, medical and legal considerations' and for the Global Network of People Living with HIV on its Global Criminalisation Scan.

  • Nic Parkhill

    Nic Parkhill

    Nicolas has over 16 years' experience in the public and community health sectors. For the last four years, he has been the CEO of ACON. Prior to that Nicolas headed up both the health promotion and operational divisions of ACON and worked in a variety of senior management and policy development roles for NSW Health and the NSW Cabinet Office, many with a specific focus on alcohol and other drugs. He also has a background in campaign management and public relations.

  • Nic Holas

    Nic Holas

    Nic is co-founder of The Institute of Many (TIM), an international social umbrella for HIV positive people. As a writer focusing on the contemporary gay experience and being a person living with HIV, Nic has been published/appeared in Hello Mr. magazine, Junkee, Star Observer and more, as well as numerous appearances on television, documentaries and radio. In 2013 he delivered the shared keynote at the Sydney World AIDS Day. Nic is also a peer educator for ACON's Genesis Program, a Positive Speaker for Positive Life NSW, and a facilitator for the Positive Leadership Development Institute.

  • Mark S King

    Mark S King

    Mark is an award winning writer and activist who has been speaking about life with HIV since testing positive the week the test became publicly available in 1985. His popular blog, MyFabulousDisease.com, is the most widely read site online by a person living with HIV.

  • Annmaree O'Keeffe

    Annmaree O'Keeffe

    Annmaree has extensive experience in international relations and development as an aid official, diplomat, analyst and journalist.  She was with AusAID for 23 years and was Deputy Director General from 2002 to 2009.  She was Australia’s first Ambassador for HIV/AIDS and prior to taking up the senior AusAID position in PNG in 1997, she was the Australian Ambassador to Nepal.

    Since leaving AusAID in 2009, she has been a fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy and research associate with ANU’s Development Policy Centre.  She has continued her work in HIV including as a member of the conference coordinating committee and local co-chair of the Leadership and Accountability Program committee for AIDS 2014, director of the Asia Pacific Business Coalition for AIDS and member of the advisory committee for the Pacific Friends of the Global Friends of AIDS, TB and Malaria. She is also chair of Australia’s national commission for UNESCO. 

  • Beng Eu

    Beng Eu

    Beng is a medical practitioner working in HIV medicine. he has also worked in rural Victoria for several years. Due to his migrant background, rural experience and personal friendships, he has a very clear understanding of stigma and the issues that the ENUF campaign addresses. He feels strongly about breaking down the barriers and stigma that the HIV community faces, often from their own community and strengthening community bonds that will help encourage a more caring community.

  • Ji Wallace

    Ji Wallace

    Ji  won the silver medal in the 2000 Olympics trampoline event and recently revealed that he is HIV-positive in an open letter to the gay press in Australia following in the footsteps of Greg Louganis, the four-time diving gold medal winner who revealed his own HIV-positive status in 1996 and was recently profiled on the ABC’s 7:30 report.

    Wallace hopes that his decision to come out as HIV-positive will help dispel the stigma around HIV and show that the virus can affect anyone.

    “Since I spoke openly about being HIV positive, I have been flooded with good wishes from people who applaud what I have done,” said Wallace. "But why should being honest and open about living with HIV be such a big deal?

    “HIV stigma discourages people from testing regularly for HIV, it creates barriers within families and communities and it makes positive people feel unworthy and unwanted. That's why I have decided to become an ambassador for the ENUF campaign: I want to take a stand against HIV stigma and discrimination and I encourage others to join me,” he said.

  • The Melbourne Chargers

    The Melbourne Chargers

    Melbourne’s iconic gay and inclusive rugby team, the Melbourne Chargers, join the ambassador program of ENUF. Chargers President Sam Minter said the club was enthusiastic about the opportunity to join the campaign. “The Chargers have always been about promoting inclusivity and breaking down barriers, so joining the ENUF Campaign was a natural fit for us,” he said. “Our club welcomes everybody, regardless of age, playing experience, sexuality or HIV status, and we’re active in the community to promote those same values. Despite the advances in HIV treatment and prevention, HIV stigma is still with us and it has a devastating impact – not just on people with HIV, but our whole community.” “People living with HIV are part of our community and part of our team. Everybody has a responsibility to be part of the response to HIV, because it’s only by acting together that we can defeat this illness” he said.

    HIV stigma refers to the negative attitudes, abuse and mistreatment directed at people living with HIV – it includes sexual rejection, malicious gossip, being shunned by family, friends or co-workers, and being treated as dirty, diseased or ‘other’. Stigma discourages people from HIV testing and treatment worsens mental health and creates barriers in our community. The ENUF campaign is about exposing and challenging stigmatising behaviours.

  • Craig McClure

    Craig McClure

    Craig is Associate Director and Chief of HIV & AIDS Section in Programme Division in UNICEF. Craig has a background in political science, international relations, education and counseling. His involvement in the fight against AIDS began in 1991 when, while teaching secondary school in the UK, he joined the activist group ACT-UP Manchester.  He returned to his native Canada in 1993 and worked for five years in the community-based sector with the Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE) as an educator and coordinator of treatment advocacy, information and literacy programs.  After leaving CATIE, Craig co-founded the consulting firm Health Hounds, focused on organizational development and HIV policy for government, not-for-profit organizations and industry.  

    From 2000-2002, Craig worked for the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) on public policy and community-preparedness for vaccine trials.  He joined the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2002 to support partnerships for the “3 by 5” initiative.  As Executive Director of the International AIDS Society (IAS) from 2004 to 2009 he oversaw the staging of six major international and scientific conferences. He previously coordinated the treatment and care team in the HIV Department at WHO. He is currently the Chief of HIV and AIDS section with the Programme Division in UNICEF.

    Craig is committed to working to end the AIDS epidemic through approaches that balance investments in research with achieving and sustaining universal access to prevention, treatment and care, and promoting and protecting the rights of people living with and most affected by HIV.

  • Dean Camilleri

    Dean Camilleri

    Dean is a 30 year old openly gay and HIV+ male based in Melbourne. He currently works with the Living Positive Victoria speakers bureau to help reduce stigma associated with being positive and help educate more people living with HIV to share their dialogues and embrace living positively. Dean also coordinates TIMelbourne a social umbrella that connects other positive people

  • Jenny Hoy

    Jenny Hoy

    Jennifer is an Infectious Diseases physician with over 30 years’ experience in HIV patient care and research, initially at Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital. She is currently Professor Director of HIV Medicine at the Alfred Hospital and Monash University. She has spent many years researching improvements in antiretroviral therapy, managing the toxicity of earlier treatments and understanding the cause of the increasing occurrence of comorbidities such as bone disease and heart disease.

  • John Manwaring

    John Manwaring

    John has been living with HIV since 2006. Since this time, John has devoted much of his time advocating issues important to people living with HIV/AIDS and the LGBTIQ communities. John is an active member of Living Positive Victoria’s Positive Speakers Bureau, and will be addressing the delegates at the closing session of the 2014 International AIDS Conference in Melbourne. John is currently working on a postgraduate law degree at the University of Melbourne, where formerly acted as the Queer Officer on the Law Students’ Society.

  • Leonee Derr

    Leonee Derr

    Leonie grew up in the US before moving to Australia ten years ago to study post-colonial and post-modern literature.  Realising that the world of academia and literary criticism wasn’t social or people-centred enough she moved to Melbourne and found a job as a children’s librarian.  Today Leonee works as a Young Adult Librarian for Melbourne Library Service at the Library at the Dock. She shares her heart with people who live with HIV both here and abroad; and, in their honour and absence she supports and believes ENUF is ENUF.

  • Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy

    Mike has more than 25 years’ experience working in three States and Territories as a volunteer and then a senior manager in the HIV community sector.  He served several terms as a Board Member of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations and was the Executive Director at the Victorian Aid Council/Gay Men’s Health Centre from 1999 to 2011. Mike has been a member of LGBTI, HIV/AIDS and Sex Worker Ministerial Advisory Committees in Queensland, the ACT and Victoria and is currently the Chair of the Victorian Ministerial Advisory Committee on GLBTI Health and Wellbeing. Mike works as the Projects Manager at Palliative Care Victoria.

  • Paul Kidd

    Paul Kidd

    Paul is a writer and HIV activist with a particular interest in legal issues affecting people living with HIV, antiretroviral treatments, and HIV-hepatitis coinfection. He has been living with HIV for almost 30 years, during which time he has written and spoken extensively on the experience of living HIV and issues affecting positive people.

  • Paul Woodward

    Paul Woodward

    Paul was editor of the national publication Positive Living for five years; has served on the Boards of Living Positive Victoria, Victorian AIDS Council, Hepatitis Victoria and ChillOut Festival Daylesford; and was President of Living Positive Victoria from 2009 to 2011. He founded the online HIV group OzPoz in 1996, and was Australia’s first openly HIV-positive blogger. He is currently chair of the LPV/VAC HIV Legal Working Group and is completing a degree in law.

    Paul has worked as a director/performer/writer for a variety of physical/experimental theatre companies such as First Person dance/theatre (London, UK), Sculpture (West Midlands, UK) & Glory What Glory (Lancaster/London UK) since the late 80’s after graduating from Lancaster University (UK). After a successfully completing a PGCE at Reading University Paul became a secondary school teacher for a number of years until graduating in 1996 with an MA (distinction) in Theatre at Royal Holloway University of London where he consolidated his research into body/sign systems in Theatres of Asia & its application to Sign Language Theatres of the Deaf.

    Paul was a Senior lecturer in Drama & Physical Theatre at St.Mary’s University College for 16 years and is now currently working full time on a practice as research PhD investigating the useful application of performance theory and practice to HIV (dis)closure at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, after winning a double international scholarship there.

    Whilst lecturing Paul remained active as a professional director/dramaturg & regularly collaborated with physical theatre practitioners Maxine Doyle (First Person dance/theatre & Punchdrunk productions) & Dr Josephine Machon (Middlesex & Brunel University) investigating the interface between the body, dance, physical theatre, popular cultures & technology.

    Paul has delivered physical theatre workshops nationally and internationally including the International Festival of Therapy and Theatre in Lodz, Poland with the Theatre of the Deaf (UK); in Knysner, South Africa working with HIV positive children in the townships with MadAboutArt, (UK/SA); and most recently with the Melbourne based medical charity Possible Dreams International (AU/SL) where he led storytelling empowerment workshops for vulnerable young people in rural Swaziland.

    Paul joined The Quest for Gay Men (UK) in October 2011 where he developed a unique storytelling & performance curriculum to empower gay men to tell their life stories with greater ease and confidence and fluidity. He was the acting dramaturg for an adaptation of the popular psychology book The Velvet Rage by Dr Alan Downs which was first presented at the Sarah Siddons Theatre, London in Nov 2012 as The Velvet Rage: Real Life Stories then adapted further as Beneath The Surface: Gay Life Stories at The Embassy Theatre at The Royal Central School of Speech & Drama in Feb 2013, and most recently an ensemble piece for gay men between the ages of 40-65 entitled The Haunting which premiered in October 2014 at The Pinter Theatre, Mile End, London.

    Since moving to Melbourne in March 2012 Paul has been working for Living Positive Victoria (AUS) as a health education speaker. For the organizations unique Positive Speakers Bureau Paul is commissioned to visit schools, community groups and workplaces including the Victorian Police Academy to use the power of autobiographical storytelling as a means to facilitate powerful and interactive HIV and sexual health education in Victoria.

    Paul has recently developed a solo storytelling piece about HIV disclosure & his relationship with his late father entitled Fathers & Feathers. The work originated from a series of workshop collaborations with the legendary US performance storyteller and gay rights activist Tim Miller. Fathers & Feathers was premiered in October 2013 at The Pinter Theatre, Mile End, London, and a specially reworked version was recently commissioned by Monash Centre of Performing Arts to tour selected venues in Melbourne in March 2014.

    Paul continues to be an internationally published scholar in the field of performance theatre, ritual and the body, and the potential uses of performance theatre in HIV education with a specific focus on the performative/transformative properties of (dis)closure).

  • Sean Strub

    Sean Strub

    Sean is the founder of POZ Magazine (poz.com), executive director of the Sero Project (seroproject.com), a US-based network of people with HIV combating criminalization and is the author of Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival (Scribner 2014). A longtime activist and HIV survivor, he was the first openly HIV positive person to run for the U.S. Congress, produced the off-Broadway hit The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me and from 2010-2012 co-chaired the North American affiliate of the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+/NA).

  • Susan Paxton

    Susan Paxton

    Susan is the representative for ICW Global on the AIDS 2014 Conference Coordinating Committee.

    Since my HIV diagnosis over twenty years ago, I have been a passionate advocate for the rights of women with HIV, and have worked consistently to develop leadership skills in the Asia-Pacific region so women living with HIV can advocate for their rights and take their place as equal partners in the response.

    I am an activist, trainer, community-based researcher and artist. I started speaking out soon after my diagnosis, to challenge the myths surrounding HIV, decrease stigma and discrimination and help people realise that anybody may be vulnerable to contracting HIV. In 2000 I carried the Olympic Torch on behalf of people living with HIV.

    My academic research indicates the significant impact of HIV-positive women as HIV educators.

    Since 1995 I have been involved in APN+, the Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV. I wrote: “Lifting the Burden of Secrecy”, for HIV-positive people who speak out in public; "AIDS discrimination in Asia", the first regional documentation of HIV-related discrimination, which evolved into GNP+'s Stigma Index; "A Long Walk", a study of women's challenges in accessing HIV services; "Diamonds" (book and dvd), the life stories of positive women leaders, and "Positive and Pregnant - How Dare You", a six-country study highlighting violations of women's rights during pregnancy, including refusal of care and coerced sterilisation.

  • >Ms Yolanda Simon

    Ms Yolanda Simon

    Yolanda was born in Trinidad and Tobago and has been involved in HIV/AIDS education in the Caribbean from as early as 1988.  Over the years she has supported the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre in numerous counselling and education initiatives and as a member of its advocacy team, was involved in promoting HIV awareness and prevention to the Heads of Government and National AIDS Programmes in the region.  She has also been a consultant with Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) and has contributed to several publications.   Additionally, she has presented at numerous fora focussing on community involvement and community participation with particular emphasis on Treatment access, Human Rights including stigma and discrimination and GIPA ( greater involvement of PLHIV) as well as facilitating workshops on empowerment and capacity-building for PLHIV.

    Yolanda continues to be an advocate and champion of people living with HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean, with much of her time spent in the policy arena. She is a founding member of the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) and a former board  member of the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+)  As the Executive Director of CRN+, she was one of the original six signatories in the formation of the Pan-Caribbean partnership against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) and, under Ms. Simon’s stewardship, CRN+ was the first civil society organisation in the world to secure a grant from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM).

    Yolanda was the Chairperson for the 10th International Conference for People Living with HIV and is currently the International Co-Chair for the Community Programme Committee for AIDS 2014. Melbourne Australia. Ms. Simon as of January 2014, was appointed as  the Latin American and Caribbean delegate to the UNAIDS PCB NGO delegation

    Yolanda is currently in her final year at the University of the West Indies where she is pursuing degrees in Sociology, Social Policy and Gender and Development Studies.

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