The Hivsters 'Cause we can' Camino
"Our Goal is to reduce the impact of HIV related stigma everywhere, through peer engagement & the creation of educational awareness events, thereby improving the lives & experiences of people living with HIV today."
In November 2016, Hivsters VIC took 6 HIV+ people and completed the Hivsters 'cause we can' Camino. Walking 180kms from Portland (VIC) to Penola (SA) to create awareness around HIV stigma and to educate rural communities about HIV Treatment, Prevention and Self care...
Five PLHIV and their friends, including some well known personalities in areas of Government and Sporting, joined for a few days to help create awareness. (See Meet the walkers below)
We walked 215kms from PORTLAND (VIC) to PENOLA (SA) sleeping in the nearby towns, speaking at events and engaging in dialog with the locals at night, aiming to educate the wider and rural communties whilst raising awareness every step of the way.
Even today, stigma and discrimination are among the foremost barriers to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. Despite decades of advances in both treatment and prevention of HIV, an environment of ignorance and fear still persists. It is within these environments and through the treatment of others who are not yet educated, where feelings of self doubt, shame and inadequacy rears their head and disempowers members of the PLHIV community
Our mission is to combat HIV related stigma through education and awareness events and to dispel community generalisations that PLHIV are somehow less capable of living full, rich lives or that they are in any way restricted by their "condition". Through undertaking and completing this significant physical and logistical adventure as a team, we are out to set the record straight and create awareness everywhere we go. In turn, creating hope and adding value to the lives of those affected.
It starts by creating small ripples in the our "community pond", wherever we can. Then in time, the ripples will continue to grow until they all meet in the middle.