annual report 2023 Living Positive Victoria

Living Positive Victoria is a not-for-profit, community-based organisation representing all people living with HIV in Victoria since 1988, and is committed to the advancement of human rights and wellbeing of all people living with HIV (PLHIV).

In response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, Living Positive Victoria was created as a safe place to provide support and advocate for those living with virus. The demand for services increased over the years and the organisation has now grown to a team of 16 individuals providing workshops, peer support and activities that increase the psychological, emotional and social wellbeing of those living with, or affected by HIV. Living Positive Victoria also works closely in partnership with a range of HIV sector and other organisations to deliver a comprehensive and coordinated response to the needs of PLHIV in Victoria, nationally and internationally.

Living Positive Victoria’s services reach a member base of 2031 individuals, their partners and family members and their families across all races, ethnicities, genders, ages and sexual identities.

Living Positive Victoria is an Australian, incorporated association and registered Australian Charity for taxation purposes.

Living Positive Victoria acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land where we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.
In 2022 I reported on the post-pandemic renewal efforts Living Positive Victoria’s board were undertaking following the departure of a larger than usual number of directors. For this year's annual report, I’ll focus on the outcomes of those renewal efforts, the governance changes we’ve introduced and our upcoming strategic objectives for 2024.

Living Positive Victoria Strategic Plan 2023-28

The Living Positive Victoria Strategic Plan 2023-28 is the most significant piece of work the board has overseen over the last 18 months. At last year's AGM I spoke about the consultative process we undertook to develop the 2023 Strategic Plan, and announced our intention to release the new Strategic Plan on World AIDS Day 2022. I spoke too soon – for that I apologise.

The simple truth is we needed more time to ensure that the visual design of the plan best reflected its strategic intent and LPV’s mission. The board took a decision to pause. Over the summer we engaged with Daniel Cordner Designs in partnership with Phil Soliman to create a representation of our plan that we feel embodies our mission: “to enable and empower all individuals affected by and living with HIV to be a part of the response.”

This created space for community members to have their images and voices included across the entire document, making the document more accessible and engaging. I could not be more grateful to the 12 community members who stepped forward to be the face of the Strategic Plan and the campaigns to support it. Thank you!

Bringing the Strategic Plan to Life

The Strategic Plan identifies three pillars that will shape the direction of the organisation over the next five years. A key aspect of the Strategic Plan is the mechanism we’ve built to ensure the document remains relevant across its lifetime and provides ongoing accountability.

To ensure relevance, we have created short- and long-term objectives. Short-term objectives include measures to be completed and evaluated within 1 to 2 years, and then be replaced with new measures. Our long-term objectives call for year over year improvement across the whole life of the plan.

To ensure accountability, activity within LPV’s business plan, as well as our planning and reporting processes, will be aligned to the strategic pillars and enablers. Each year, the CEO will report on Strategic Plan progress at the Annual General Meeting and the President will highlight upcoming or changed measures.

Pillar 1: Support

We support people living with HIV at every stage of their lives, through our evidence-based, peer-led programs and services. The long-term promise here is one of accountability and continuous improvement. All programs and services are accounted for in the annual business plan and aligned to the Strategic Plan, and their outcomes will be measured using LPV’s evaluation frameworks. Consistency of measurement allows us to make data-driven decisions about our programs and services, demonstrate accountability and ensure continuous improvement.

Our next objective in the Support pillar to is develop a Reconciliation Action Plan with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and individuals. The first measure for this is the development of a framework for that plan by the end of 2024. We will spend this time scoping, developing relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders, working on a vision for reconciliation and exploring our sphere of influence. The goal is to prepare LPV for reconciliation initiatives into the future.

The third objective within the Support pillar focuses on a need to understand and respond to the needs of people aging with HIV. The goal is to work with NAPWHA and our sector peers to develop a need analysis and first steps strategy.

Pillar 2: Advocate

At Living Positive Victoria, we Advocate for equity across the health, housing, disability and legal sectors. In recent years we’ve worked closely with the Department of Justice and Thorne Harbour Health as part of the HIV Legal Working group to ensure that potential impacts of changes to consent laws and sex work laws were carefully considered.

In coming years, we aim to increase our levels of advocacy and education across aged care, housing and disability sectors, across immigration and regional health services. We cannot accomplish this alone. We believe the best way forward is partnering with peak bodies and organisations with expertise and connection into communities. Each year we will identify key gaps and potential partnerships in closing those gaps – with five-year goal of significantly extending our advocacy reach.

Pillar 3: Connect

Our third pillar is Connect. At Living Positive Victoria we provide safe spaces for people living with HIV to connect with us and with the positive community. Our objectives in this pillar are all long term, but will be measured by year over year improvement to ensure that no-one is left behind.

Over the next five years we aim to have 90% of our members and clients satisfied that LPV provides connection opportunities that are relevant to their demographic. To start this we need to better understand the communities we serve. LPV has commissioned a MIPA (Meaningful Involvement of People with HIV/AIDS) audit which will be conducted during the first half of 2024.

LPV Working Groups

Over the last 12 months the board has continued to extend the scope and membership of its working groups, of which three are currently active.

Multicultural Working Group

The Multicultural Working Group this year partnered with the CEH (Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health) to deliver a workshop on Immigration, Visas and Mental Health – three key issues for people living with HIV from multicultural backgrounds. I’m happy to report this workshop will now become a regular part of LPV programming.

This year the Multicultural Working Group took on the important task of developing a Multicultural Engagement Plan; a substantial piece of work that aligns with our Connect pillar. This plan is intended to pave the way for more meaningful and strengthened engagement with multicultural community members helping us shape a more inclusive future for us all.

Member Engagement Working Group

Modelled on success of the Multicultural Working group, which is comprised of community members and chaired by a board representative, this year we created a Member Engagement Working Group.

The purpose of the group is to improve engagement between the board and the members we represent. The first outcome is the changes to the way our Annual General Meeting has been organised this year. We are meeting in a more physically accessible location, at a date and time that is more appealing and with an agenda for the day that we hope is more engaging.

In the coming year the Member Engagement Working Group will advise on ways the board can improve member engagement. Some of these will be small and tactical, such as advising on the member onboarding process, and some will be more strategic in nature, such as being part of the advisory team to the MIPA audit.

Governance Working Group

With the completion of a review of board policies and procedures, the Governance Working Group this year has focused on LPV’s risk management practices. Guided by the ISO Risk Management framework, the Governance Working Group reviewed and enhanced LPV’s existing risk management practices and these will be operationalised in the coming term.

As I conclude this year’s report, I’d like to thank my fellow board members, the staff and LPV’s management team for their efforts this year; but I want especially to thank all the community members and volunteers who have so graciously given their time. To the community members who stepped forward to bring life to the strategic plan and the community members who have given their time to enrich our working groups - thank you!

Craig A. BrennanPresident

The 2022-23 financial year provided some unique challenges and opportunities for our organisation. Coming out of lengthy COVID restrictions and into “living with COVID”, adaptation to the new hybrid working environment has taken some time. This has led to some valuable and ongoing discussions about our office space requirements and whether our current arrangements are fit for purpose moving forward.


The sense of relief we experienced as we came out of the world’s longest COVID lockdowns was quickly tempered by the outbreak of Mpox. The hyperbolic stigma and discrimination that carried across both mainstream media and social media echoed the stigma experienced in the early days of the HIV response largely driven by the same homophobia and disease stigma.

I was invited to engage with ASHM in the development of the clinical advice for medical practitioners around treatment testing and care standards for Mpox. This reiterated the importance of PLHIV involvement at every level in decisions that impact our lives. This is and always has been central to the work we do.

The pivot from a COVID response to an Mpox response further stretched our state’s pandemic resources causing a delay in the release of the new HIV strategy. The Victorian HIV Plan 2022-30 was released in February 2023. Living Positive Victoria will play a crucial role in ensuring that the shared targets are met over the term of this strategy. An individual and systems advocacy approach will be central to achieving this.

Doherty Molecular Research Project

Over the last 12 months LPV has had a significant and meaningful role in consultations for the molecular research project at The Doherty Institute. A range of consultations have taken place across the HIV community partnership as we move closer to the potential implementation of technology that aims to enhance existing contact tracing for HIV and other notifiable conditions. We were involved in co-designing questionnaires and plain language slides to unpack the science and ensure greater understanding of the issues connected to this new technology. The sticking point has always been linked to HIV criminalisation frameworks that have not reflected bio-medical advances in both treatment and prevention. We continue to unconditionally support the sector partnership initiative to review criminalisation frameworks for people living with HIV.

Sex work law reform and HIV

It was a powerful, satisfying and very personal full circle moment for me to be involved in the processes leading up to the decriminalisation of sex work in Victoria and a privilege to help design the advice for sex workers living with HIV. Crucially, this included options for working with a detectable viral load within an enabling harm reduction and prevention framework. The advice notes that “the Victorian Government acknowledges criminalisation of HIV is not an effective strategy to reduce forward transmission of HIV.” This acknowledgement opens up the opportunity for further discussions around the decriminalisation of HIV transmission in Victoria.


Virtual elimination of HIV transmission in Australia

Our ongoing work continues to focus on the ever-diversifying communities of Victorians living with HIV including women, heterosexually identified men, bi+ folks, trans and gender diverse folks, and migrant and refugee communities. These communities have not experienced the same reduction in new diagnoses as Australian-born men who have sex with men, and are less likely to be on treatments and virally suppressed.

Inequity in access to preventative measures and testing means this work will be crucial. Some claim we are close to the virtual elimination of HIV transmission in this country. While we don’t yet know exactly how virtual elimination will be measured, we can be sure that HIV transmissions will still occur even when we do eventually achieve this milestone. We know from our experience, backed up by the latest HIV surveillance data, that it will be within these groups that these transmissions will continue to occur. We must continue to remind government that every person living with HIV today, will be HIV positive tomorrow and that funding to support the care and quality of life of those of us living with HIV is crucial moving forward.

Key to this has been the long-awaited introduction of access to HIV medication for people living with HIV who don’t have access to Medicare, particularly those who are here to work and/or study. However, challenges remain with disparities across jurisdictions. The Victorian Government is not covering any costs associated with pathology and is refusing to remove pharmacy co-payments. After October 2023 Victoria will be the only jurisdiction with a funded Positive voice organisation like our own continuing to require co-payments for HIV medication. Cost should not be a barrier to accessing effective HIV treatments. If the target is virtual elimination of HIV transmission, removing these barriers will be essential in reaching these shared goals. Living Positive Victoria will continue to call on the Victorian Government to re-consider their position on co-payments.

Grants success

We were successful in the 2022 ViiV Positive Action Community Grant round can commenced our Translating The Facts project. This project involves translating our series of The Facts brochures into eight community languages to improve our multicultural community’s access to our health promotion resources. These resources focus on key issues like how to navigate the Australian health care system, building a relationship with your GP or S100 provider, as well as HIV basics like viral suppression and U=U.

Beau Newham was also successful in securing a small City of Melbourne grant for the VIRAL STORIES event. This storytelling night was crucial in changing perceptions of people living with HIV through personal narratives that challenged HIV-related stigma in the broader community.


We know that there have been gaps in our knowledge about our member base, which has meant that we haven’t adequately understood the diversity of our communities and their lived experiences. To address this issue, this year we redesigned our membership application data collection in alignment with the Australian Bureau of Statistics and advice from CEH (Centre of Ethnicity and Health) and Equinox (the gender clinic at Thorne Harbour Health) to ensure we capture the broad range of identity and cultural diversity across our membership base. This will ensure greater representation and participation and help guide future funding allocations across our program and community connection offerings.

This year we moved one of our Planet Positive events away from the inner city to a location in the western suburbs of Melbourne. The day was a great success and attracted many LPV members to Planet Positive for the first time. We also held a Taking Charge over 50s event in Geelong in an effort to link folks who live outside of metropolitan Melbourne to our staff and services.

Offering a range of all-inclusive and specific population-targeted events within our programs ensures that we have the flexibility to focus on equitable engagement that is relevant across a range of communities and creates opportunities for people to connect in spaces that are safe and culturally appropriate. An example of this was our first South Asian community support group adding to groups aligned to NAPWHA’s national networks like Positive Asian Network Australia (PANA), Positive Latin American Network, the HetMan heterosexual men’s network and the national women’s networks.

This year we partnered with Thorne Harbour Health, The Alfred, and Positive Women Victoria to re-launch the HIV Interagency Forum after its COVID hiatus. The event was a huge success with 45 folks in attendance, offering key subject matter and excellent networking opportunities to connect people and programs across the HIV response. We look to continue to build upon this success.

We also participated in the Great Victorian Bike Ride. The original vision of this event was developed by our first co-opted member of the Board Judith Arndt – a former Olympic silver medallist in women’s road cycling. After postponement and cancellations due Victoria’s COVID response, we finally had the chance to engage the event last year. Not only was this great way to raise funds, but also a great way to raise our organisational profile.

Richard Keane Chief Executive Officer

As we faced no more lockdowns in 2023, we were able to fully deliver our services across the year which is reflected in our financial position.

Total revenue for the year was $2.25 million, a 11% increase from 2022. Most of our revenue during the year was from government funding. On the other hand, total expenses for the year were $2.21 million, a 16% increase from 2022. As a service-based organisation, salaries, and wages, along with rent, remain our biggest expenses.

Our financial position remains stable, with a $377k surplus for the year. From this surplus, $334k was from accounting adjustments resulting from underspend across the 2020-2021 and the 2021-2022 financial years. A range of underspend activities have been prioritised and approved by the Department and will roll out across the current financial year of 2023-2024.

Therefore, our net surplus for 2023 was $43k. This reflects our ability to utilise the government funding and other grants fully and effectively in 2023. We continue to prioritise responsible financial management to ensure the sustainability of our mission.

In regard to the surplus from the 2020-2022 financial year, we have estimated that we have a $374k COVID underspend, which the Victorian Department of Health instructed us to utilise in in the 2023-24 financial year. Currently, we are planning to utilise these funds for logistic updates to better enable the full scope of in-person and remote service delivery and professional development opportunities for our staff, board, and working groups to make sure that we will meet the goals of our strategic plan.

Speaking about the future, we have some significant challenges ahead with a reduction in funding coupled with increasing staff salaries. However, the post-COVID hybrid working environment will allow us to downsize our premises to mitigate some the impacts resulting from this decision.

I extend my sincere gratitude to our donors, volunteers, board members, and staff for their unwavering support and dedication throughout the year. Your contribution makes our work possible.

In conclusion, Living Positive Victoria remains committed to our mission, and we are diligently managing our financial resources to fulfil our objectives. We are confident in our ability to continue making a positive impact in our community.

Vicky SaputraTreasurer

Membership of Living Positive Victoria is free and is open to any person in Victoria and Tasmania living with HIV, family members, health care workers, friends and supporters.

Peer Navigation

This year we experienced an increase in the proportion of Peer Navigation clients who went on to access other Living Positive Victoria programs. In 2023, 61% (compared to 41% in 2022) went on to participate in peer support groups, health promotion workshops, the Positive Speakers Bureau, and events that encourage social inclusion for people of all cultural backgrounds, genders and sexual identities.

The breadth of the peer-led programs offered gives all people living with HIV the opportunity to participate in programs that support their wellbeing and quality of life.

We also had slight increase in the percentage of overseas-born people accessing our Peer Navigation program. Affordable access to medication and care continues to be a pressing concern for many of these clients. There are particular concerns around the cost of pathology for people who are ineligible for Medicare. Other reported concerns are stigma and discrimination, relationships and family, migration and visas, housing and homelessness, mental health, social isolation, family violence and AOD issues.

This year we had strong and growing engagement with from people of Asian descent in our Positive Asian Network (PANA) group. While members of the group also attend other LPV workshops and events, they appreciate the safety and sense of community they experience when connecting with other HIV-positive people from Asian descent. The group provides a space to explore lived experiences relating to the demands of family and, for many, coming from a culture in which HIV and/or their gay identity is highly stigmatised, and in some cases, criminalised. This year we hosted a dinner for people of South Asian descent, a group who have very different experience of living with HIV.

This South Asian event was the first of its kind in Australia.


The emphasis across all of our peer education workshops is about helping participants find the right information and support to enable them to live well with HIV, regardless of when they were diagnosed.

For over 15 years, Living Positive Victoria’s workshop for the newly diagnosed, Phoenix has been at the core of our peer education and support work. We have adapted Phoenix many times over the years in response to changes in the epidemic, including an expansion to provide workshops for women in partnership with Positive Women Victoria.

This year saw a consolidation of changes we have been thinking about in the context of our return to life in the community after COVID-19 and the big shifts we have seen in the make-up and needs of our communities over recent years.

With a big emphasis on medical management, making meaning of an HIV diagnosis and relationships, we often found it difficult to provide enough focus and expertise to address questions and experiences related to legal frameworks around HIV and disclosure, sexual transmission and migration in a single weekend of Phoenix. In addition to continuing to provide shorter separate workshops where people can explore disclosure, relationships, resilience and identity in more depth we are now developing a workshop entitled Know Your Rights, to enable better understanding of HIV, Australian law and migration. The first pilot of Know Your Rights will be held in November of 2023.

We are most excited to share that we collaborated with a newly emerging network of Australian Bi+ people living with HIV to include new content for our men’s Phoenix workshop which speaks directly to bisexual men, their relationships and experiences. We are now in the process of recruiting peer educators and facilitators that reflect the diversity of our community across all of our workshops.

Here’s some of what the participants from our most recent workshop had to say:

“I appreciate the way my ideas and notions were challenged. It gave me the ability to open my mind and consider new ways of being in the world. Thank-you.”
“I felt so secure and supported at all times. The peer facilitators checked in at times of vulnerability. I can't express how special that made me feel.”
“The facilitators were all amazing! Thanks for a wonderful and very thought-provoking set of discussions.”

Peer facilitation training

Living Positive Victoria recognises and invests in the education and training of HIV positive peers.

As in the past, the current volunteer graduates move on to facilitate workshops and groups as well as conduct one on one HIV peer support. We delivered our two-day facilitation training in May, adding five new facilitators to our team. The training covered facilitation and communication basics in the HIV peer context, as well as modules on sexuality and gender diversity, unconscious bias, privilege and intersectionality, working with a diverse population, as well as practical facilitation skill development. We warmly welcome these new facilitators to our volunteer team and look forward to working with them.

HIV Interagency Forum relaunch

The HIV Interagency Forum supported and connected the Victorian HIV workforce for more than 20 years before going into hiatus at the onset of the COVID pandemic. This year Living Positive Victoria initiated a collaboration with Positive Women Victoria, The Alfred and Thorne Harbour Health to relaunch the Forum in June. The theme of the relaunch event was housing and homelessness, and 45 people from frontline HIV clinical and community services as well as health promotion, policy and peer support staff attended. This strong turnout gave very clear signal that the HIV sector was keen to connect in person, and looking for opportunities share insights and practice strategies about the care and support of the positive community.

Taking Charge for over 50s

Peer Support Network events this year included health promotion sessions on a range of topics including polypharmacy, an AIDS2022/ASHM2022 conferences update, HIV cure and mental health. Social events to increase peer connection and address social isolation included zoom trivia quiz, Geelong Art Gallery visit, picnic at Albert Park Lake and mini-golf.

We asked participants in the six-week Positive Self-Management Program about their accomplishments and learnings three months after the workshop, and this is what they told us:

"Advanced planning."
"Created recipes and art pieces."
"Self managed goal setting."
"Met people and expanded my support network for future meetings. "
"Self sufficiency and understanding it all better."
"Managing fatigue and problem solving."
"More physically active."
"Decision making and identifying options."
"Learnt to keep calm and don't give yourself a hard time."
"Learnt how to make a commitment and to keep to it and the result is feeling good."

Positive Speakers Bureau

Peer Navigation Program Implementation Trial

The Peer Navigation Program Implementation Trial was a collaboration between Living Positive Victoria and the Australian Research Centre in Health, Sex and Society at La Trobe University. The project began in 2019 and conducted interviews, meetings and focus groups with 57 of the clinicians, peer workers and people living with HIV who participated in Living Positive Victoria’s peer navigation program in the first two years of its implementation.

In the last year, the project has produced five publications, including articles in research journals and oral and poster presentations at international HIV conferences. Three more journal articles have been submitted with a doctoral thesis to be completed later in 2023.

This body of research positions peer navigation as an intervention that can improve quality of life for people living with HIV. Our findings progress understanding of the way peer support works on personal, relational and social levels to resist the impact that stigma has on psychological, social, functional and health-related aspects of quality of life in the contemporary HIV treatment era.

This is significant in a global HIV response where overwhelmingly biomedical discourse and investment has imagined a limited role for peer navigators. Often, peer navigation programs are evaluated to improve treatment-related outcomes, like adherence or clinical attendance.

Our theoretical framework emphasizes the role that peer navigators play within community and service structures which together create an environment that enables the health and wellbeing goals that people living with HIV determine for themselves. It is important that there are safe, appropriate and accessible services and networks to which navigators can connect people living with HIV. If this service and community environment does not function and collaborate, the influence of peer navigation on quality of life may be limited.

Our focus on Living Positive Victoria’s program highlighted the experiences of culturally and sexually diverse new and temporary migrants and heterosexual men and women living with HIV. New and temporary migrants faced complex psychological, interpersonal, medical and legal concerns stemming from intersecting forms of stigma and the discrimination they experienced in the Australian migration system. Support and guidance from navigators with similar experiences as well as referral into specialised services enabled new and temporary migrants to regain some of agency and control lost to them after diagnosis. The prevailing narrative among heterosexual research participants was of a journey from isolation and secrecy to a version of themselves that could see and be seen within a vibrant and accepting community of people living with HIV. We provide recommendations to guide policy and service systems to meet the needs of these culturally diverse, low prevalence communities in Australia.

Many of our recommendations to improve the quality and impact of peer navigation programs align with Greater and Meaningful Involvement of people living with HIV Principles and National Standards of Peer Support. These cover the recruitment, training, support and development of diverse people living with HIV. We also highlight the unique style of engagement peer-based organisations have within community and policy systems as a benefit of community-led program implementation. This engagement allowed the program to influence, adapt and align with health service, policy and community systems in order to remain effective.

While in many regards this research reflects what is already happening in parts of Australia it is a reminder of the importance of local governments to continue to invest in these services and community structures. Stable investment allows peer organisations to adapt and evolve to meet the changing needs of communities. Peer navigation along with these kinds of community and service structures can help Australia and other parts of the world meet the aim of enabling a good quality of life for people living with HIV as a pillar of elimination strategies. Most importantly, thinking of peer navigation in this way places people living with HIV back at the centre of efforts to resist stigma and achieve the health and wellbeing goals we determine for ourselves.

Select publications from the project:

Krulic, T., Brown, G. & Bourne, A. (2022). A Scoping Review of Peer Navigation Programs for People Living with HIV: Form, Function and Effects. AIDS & Behaviour. doi.org/10.1007/s10461-022-03729-y

Krulic, T., Brown, G., Graham, S., Hoy, J., Bourne, A. (2023). Revealing an enabling environment: How clinical community and clinical stakeholders understand peer navigation to improve quality of life for people living with HIV in Australia. Frontiers in Public Health. doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2023.1101722

Krulic, T., Brown G., Graham, S., Bourne, A. (forthcoming). Regaining control: quality of life and the experiences of new and temporary migrants who participated in a peer navigation program for people living with HIV in Australia. Health Sociology Review.

Krulic, T., Brown, G., Graham, S., McCarthy, A., Bourne, A. (forthcoming). Stepping out of secrecy: Heterosexuality, quality of life and experiences of HIV peer navigation in Australia. Culture, Health & Sexuality.


For much of our history our physical presence at LGBTIQ+ community events was a very effective way of broadening our reach year on year. While presence at these events is still important, this year we have made greater use of digital methods to reach more effectively into our many priority communities beyond the LGBTIQ+ community.

In 2022/23 the scope of communications work continued to grow, with an emphasis on greater integration across our program areas. This is reflected in the development of the LPV Communications Strategy 2023 – 25, which outlines the communications goals and strategies that will be used across the organisation to deliver the LPV Strategic Plan 2023-28. This strategy will be finalised in the third quarter of 2023.

This year, our quarterly newsletter, Poslink turned 25 years old and celebrated its 100th edition.

Issue 100 was a retrospective of some of the key contributors and issues we have tackled over the years. As one of the longest-running HIV community outlets in Australia that still regularly publishes news, opinion, health advice and stories of living with HIV, Poslink has a legacy of which we can be proud. All archival editions of Poslink are now available on our website, including Issues 1-10 produced by the original editorial team of David Menadue, Bridget Haire and Colin Batrouney.

Our other editions for the year featured contributions from Andrew Chan, The Huxleys, Brent Allan, Dean Murphy, Fiona Kelly McGregor, Steven Spencer, Anthony McCarthy, Kirsty Machon, Gillian Lau, Craig Burnett and Gordon Campbell. Issue 101 explored the communities, parties and sexual cultures we create as ways we seek and act out queer self-expression and utopian ideals. In Issue 102, contributors considered the challenges and opportunities communities and researchers face in a new era of HIV cure innovation and discovery. Earlier in the year, Issue 99 shared some of the different ways our diverse communities find love, intimacy and pleasure in our relationships.

Midsumma Pride March

This year’s Pride March contingent featured 35 members and supporters marching down Fitzroy Street to the cheers and applause of the crowd. Team LPV carried placards featuring a suite of key messages that drew attention to our work and also connected with PLHIV and the wider community.

2022 World AIDS Day

The theme for our World AIDS Day event this year was Boldly Positive – Women and HIV. The event featured keynote speaker Professor Linda-Gail Bekker, University of Cape Town and past IAS President, and Dr Todd Fernando, Victorian Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ Communities.

While attendance numbers were limited due to COVID restrictions being in place at the venue, approximately 130 people were able to participate.

2023 International AIDS Candlelight Memorial

This year, the theme for the candlelight memorial was Changemakers. We recognised the role of volunteers in the response to HIV, the importance of allies to the HIV community and how people living with HIV have used volunteerism to challenge stigma and discrimination. This was our first in-person event since 2019 without COVID restrictions was held in 2023, and 100 people attended.

RMIT Consent Week & Pride Week

In early August 2022 we worked with the Student Collective and the RMIT Queer Department to participate in RMIT Consent Week, with a stall at the city campus’ weekly “Chill n Grill”. Later that month we held a stall at RMIT Pride week.

We met with dozens of students at our marquee to chat about HIV, answer questions and share resources and information in English and other community languages.

We had more than 75 conversations with students about a range HIV topics and about the work we do at LPV, and disseminated 280 resources. We also screened basic HIV information in in six community languages.

Planet Positive

Planet Positive is a social event for all men, women, trans and gender-diverse people living with HIV, their friends and families.


Our volunteers contributed across range of roles, through assisting with community events, forums and festivals, facilitating peer education workshops, fundraising, communications.

We held 3 volunteer inductions this year, and engaged dozens of volunteers across events including World AIDS Day, International AIDS Candlelight Memorial and Planet Positive events.

Our volunteer Board of Directors give tirelessly to the governance of this organisation.

We are grateful to our amazing volunteer peer facilitators who give their weekend and weeknight time to run peer workshops for the positive community.

Thanks also to Wutti, who volunteered with is and shared his marketing and health communications skills in developing our 2023 Pride March messaging.

International HIV Long Term Survivors Awareness Day

We welcomed 16 people at the International HIV Long Term Survivors Awareness Day gathering in June. Many long-term survivors feel invisible. This can be because of the emphasis on HIV prevention and supporting newly diagnosed people. It can also be a reflection of ageism in the community as many in this group are over 50.

For long-term survivors under 50, this group provides an important emphasis on the experience of living long-term with HIV that is separate from the experience of ageing with HIV.

Supporting peer connection between long-term survivors will continue throughout 2023-2024.


Give OUT Fundraising and Festive Hampers

On 20th October Living Positive Victoria participated in GiveOUT Day, a national day of giving that unites rainbow communities across Australia to raise money for LGBTIQ+ projects and charities. Every dollar donated before GiveOUT day was doubled by GiveOUT and their partners.

These donations enabled us to distribute festive hampers to individuals and families living with and affected by HIV in Victoria. Each year, our wonderful partners in the HIV team at Bolton Clarke help us distribute these goodness-filled gift hampers to those who most need some support and connection over the holiday period.

Fundraising at The Laird Hotel

Club-goers will have spotted Team LPV volunteers running the cloakroom, sharing the U=U love, and gratefully accepting donations, at several parties at the Laird Hotel this year.

Our Positive Reflections and Positive Relationships workshops are proving popular with both recently diagnosed clients and our more established clients.

Engagement in the Positive Reflections workshop, in particular, has encouraged clients to reflect on their HIV journey and their desire to contribute to our community, either as Positive Speakers Bureau trainees, as volunteers or as Board members.

The Positive Relationships workshops have been very successful, with the vast majority of participants reporting that they felt more empowered to make considered decisions about how and whether to talk about their HIV status with other people in a way that was supportive and safe.


  • Three-hour workshop
  • Four facilitators (two paid staff and two volunteers)
  • Up to 10 participants


  • To provide our clients with the knowledge of HIV disclosure in the context of the law
  • To provide an opportunity to meet and learn about HIV disclosure from a sero-discordant couple
  • To acquire skills and knowledge on how to disclose their HIV status in different settings
  • To develop a nuanced understanding of HIV disclosure based on the lived experiences of other positive folks


  • 5 Workshops in 2022-23
  • Delivered to defined groups including: gay and bi+ men and MSM; and women and heterosexual men
  • Average of 8 people per workshop, age range from early 20s to late 60s
  • 55% of participants were from multicultural backgrounds


Hope & Reassurance

“I really loved this workshop as this was an immediate concern that was bothering me before. Hearing other's peoples’ experiences gave me the encouragement to share my own story.”

“I learnt so many things and aspects of HIV since engaging with LPV and I feel lighter and more knowledgeable about where I want to be in the future. The energy and the vibe that has been so encouraging has been my biggest take away.”


“I love being able to do this kind of stuff because my form of therapy is talking and sharing and listening to other people share so for me. It makes you feel not as alone when you know you're in the same room and you have a lot of people that you didn't realise you emphasise or relate with in some way.”

“I joined because I have a yearning for new networks. My friends don't know what I'm going through, so having people around me feels really important. I also want to volunteer. I ended up having a conversation with one of the participants after the workshop and talked for a good hour after the workshop and shared a lot of the mental turmoil of diagnosis. It was nice to meet someone with a similar journey.”


  • Three-hour workshop
  • Four facilitators (two paid staff and two volunteers)
  • Five selected participants of diverse age, gender, sexuality and cultural background


  • To provide a space for our clients to experience the diversity of the positive community
  • To provide a platform where positive folks can talk about their experience among their peers
  • To provide an opportunity for them to reflect on their own growth and resilience


  • 4 Workshops in 2022/23
  • Delivered to defined groups including: gay and bi+ men and MSM; women and heterosexual men; and people of Asian heritage.
  • 20 Participants
  • 62.5% of participants were from multicultural backgrounds, age range from early 20s to late 60s

“I loved having the diverse voices and not just the people that I talk to on a general basis. The power of stories just reinforced to me [that] allowing yourself to be vulnerable and power and telling your own stories is very important."

“I really love the diversity of the group. It was good to see older people living with HIV and women and not just grouping us based on sexuality. Reinforces that idea that not only gay men live with HIV and seeing that in our group gave me some relief.”


“I had been involved in the peer community and gotten so many benefits from it and its never been examined, now that I've done research and see other processes of other people, its helped me reflect on my own journey. It has helped me build a closer relationship with our community.”

“After the workshop, I realised that there's a lot of things we talked about that I've never talked about before. There were so many things about it that I never had the chance to think about it because I've been ignoring it so long. for me, I realised the different impacts HIV had in my life.”


“Everyone had very different stories. We had 68 years of experience and stories among people. it was really good to just see how much we've come through and how far we've come through. It's given me hope about having a future here in this country and grateful of the life we have.”

“Sometimes, I leave the house feeling upset with my family but after being in the workshop, it just makes you so lucky to have what you have.”


Awarded at the discretion of the President to an individual, group or organisation within the broader community that has demonstrated visionary leadership in improving the quality of life for HIV-positive people. Often the recipient will have served over a long period and contributed to high-level improvements in services for HIV-positive people and to an increased level of awareness of HIV issues.

Awarded to

Carlos Araya / Adam Bratt / John Cole / Clint Dowdell / Sarah Hocking / Anna Lastova / Stephanie Lee / Jessi Lewis / Deodata Masvosva / John James Musa / Jeffrey Robertson / Philip Ryan

The recipients of this year’s President’s Award are recognised for their individual commitment to our community and lasting contribution to Living Positive Victoria by appearing in our Strategic Plan 2023-28. Their actions are a testament to Living Positive Victoria’s mission to enable and empower all individuals affected by and living with HIV to be part of the response.


Awarded to an individual, group or organisation that has had a significant impact on the lives of people living with HIV through a sustained and extraordinary contribution that supports and empowers our positive community.

Awarded to

Tapuwa Bofu

Tapuwa has been nominated for the award due to his outstanding contribution and commitment to our Multicultural Working Group and our ongoing partnership with The Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health (CEH). Tapuwa was an exceptional addition the Multicultural Working Group. He was always forthcoming with ideas and his ability to share his experiences and work collaboratively within the group allowed for a pilot migration workshop to be successfully delivered which is now a staple program of LPV.

As we deliver our strategic plan and develop our multicultural engagement plan it's imperative that we continue to foster great partnerships with incredible people like Tapuwa and organisations such as CEH. By sharing our knowledge, skills and experiences we can build a better future for all people living with HIV.


Awarded to a volunteer who has provided outstanding service contributing towards our vision of a world where people living with HIV in Victoria live their lives to their full potential, in good health and free from discrimination.

Awarded to

Pawan Shokeen

Pawan continues to be one of the most exciting and up and coming HIV advocates in Australia. From someone who was diagnosed only a couple of years ago, from being one of our clients, to now being the lead for the first Positive South Asian Group in Australia, a part of our Multicultural Working Group, and one of the Board of Directors at Living Positive Victoria, Pawan's strength, passion and growth embodies the future that we're trying to create for all positive folks in Australia. He represents young people living with HIV, who have migrated here to create a meaningful life with his community.

Pawan’s generosity in providing informal peer support for individuals who have struggled to connect to our organisation continues to model the way for others.

Our diversity as a community is what gives us the resilience and the capacity to remain responsive to a growing and ever-changing community. Pawan is invaluable to the work we do alongside the positive community in Victoria as his involvement helps identify the diverse issues that matter in our communities.


Support, advocacy and connection through equity of access and peer-led empowerment are the building blocks for better outcomes for all people living with HIV. These are the qualities that guide Living Positive Victoria and motivate our volunteers, our members, our valued donors and our partner organisations to continue supporting us.

Our thanks are shared via our dedicated staff and board and the ever-diversifying communities living with and affected by HIV. It is with your support that we can continue to achieve our mission.

Living Positive Victoria acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.

Living Positive Victoria (People Living With HIV/AIDS Victoria Incorporated)

ABN 67 049 438 341 • Registration No. A0039027B

Coventry House 95, Coventry Street, Southbank, Victoria 3006

T: 03 9863 8733

F: 03 9863 8734

E: info@livingpositivevictoria.org.au