POS Peer Education

Mark Reid – Positive Peer Education Officer WA AIDS Council

I have been HIV positive for 30 years this year and in that time have seen many changes to the way that each of us have been living our lives post diagnosis.

I still see much work to be done building the resilience in our community and working together  to ensure that the principles of the Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV (MIPA) are central to the work that I do in this role.

It is like coming full circle for me as this is the position that I first joined the AIDS Council to do 22 years ago.  In that time so much has changed and the exciting thing moving forward is to embrace these changes and look forward to meaningful dialogue, great community participation and in building the resilience of the HIV community here in Perth.

2017 marks my 22nd year with the Council and in that time I have been fortunate to have worked across many of the departments in the organisation. Throughout that time I have always maintained my commitment and support of the lived experience of HIV and working directly with people with HIV, through running workshops, one on one peer support and advocacy.

Sitting alongside that there are some exciting new aspects of the position this year that I am particularly looking forward to being involved in.  These will include developing a new mentoring program and a peer ambassador program to further enhance and will be designed around the MIPA principles.  I will also be working on putting together and training a range of people as workshop facilitators so that we can continue to offer some great workshops for people with HIV.

I have already been working with the team here at the AIDS Council on the reshoot of the Being Positive DVD that aims to capture on film a range of life journeys  of people with HIV here in WA that we can then use for education around the State.  This really important DVD will allow each of the selected people to be able to share their journey and I am so proud to be working with each of the people who have expressed an interest in being involved to allow them to have the chance to be part of this really important project.