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    Boy from the Block

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Info Kit

So, you have HIV. How does that make you feel? Usually the answer to that ranges from numb to shock, anger to despair. Whatever your reaction has been, its probably been shared by others. You are not alone.

I remember my own. It was 1989 and I received a call from my doctor suggesting I have an HIV test. Me!! There I was, 30, living in the suburbs, a middle management job in the Health Department. Life was about to change. When I received the call I felt as though I had plugged my body into a 240 volt socket.

I ended up seeing a locum for the antibody test, and when it returned after two terrible weeks of uncertainty, it returned positive. The locum’s 'post test counseling' remains a blur. The only thing I can remember is a continuing reference to fatal. I had already been infected five and a half years, so he thought I was a goner, and soon. Fourteen years later I am still here, and healthy.

Many others have stories like this, if not quite the same in detail. For heterosexual men and women there was, and to a large extent, still remains, an additional burden of being on the margin of the HIV community. Knowledge of and access to resources has remained limited, often through a service being perceived as unfriendly to straights, or never really having considered heterosexual HIV+ or their children and families as an issue.

In this kit we have tried to pull together details of services and issues which those of us who have been positive a long time would have liked to have seen many years ago. We have also endeavoured to make it easy to update, and simpler to post on the internet, both in English, and other community languages.

In later additions to this kit we plan on adding some of the experiences others have had in dealing with their infection and the reactions of others to that infection.

HIV is a part of our lives, but it is not the only or defining part. We are more, much more than a home for a nasty little virus, or a research tool. We are individuals, we are parents, we are partners. We have aspirations and goals, dreams and dreads. We come from all backgrounds and are not limited by other people’s stereotyping, ignorance and bias.

We hope you find this kit useful.