A lot of our people all around Australia are living with HIV/AIDS and other disabling diseases which can make it difficult to look after yourself on your own. When you can’t look after yourself properly, you need someone to care for you. This person is called a carer.
AIDS in particular is a disease which has a stigma attached to it. People continue to call it a ‘gay disease’, even though the HIV virus can affect anybody. This stigma means that people from all walks of life who have AIDS often feel too shy or embarrassed to ask for help, as they are scared of being labelled ‘gay’. Regardless, diseases like AIDS affect all people in our communities, and at some point AIDS will touch all our lives.
When people are sick, they need love and care. And who better to provide this love and care than people in our own families or our loving friends? Just because people are sick and have HIV or AIDS doesn’t mean they are no longer part of our family. Someone who looks after someone who has HIV/AIDS is called a carer. And if you think you are up to the challenge of loving and caring for someone with HIV/AIDS there are important skills you have to learn.
Some skills include changing a bed, giving care to someone who is sick or in pain, sometimes providing traditional healing techniques, keeping someone’s environment hygienic and healthy and generally making sure someone stays well. There are a lot of Aboriginal people already working in the community providing this love and care to the sick. So if you want to care for someone who is sick, there are a lot of services and individuals around who need you.
If you live in Sydney, and want to learn more about caring for people, particularly with HIV/AIDS call Chris Lawrence, Victor Tawil or Sue Fowles on (02) 9206 2000.
AIDS COUNCILS & ORGANISATIONS
Australian Federation of AIDS Organisation (AFAO) 02 9281 1999
HIV Health Information Line 1800 803 806
AIDS Action Council of the ACT(AAACT) 02 6257 2855
AIDS Council of Central Australia(ACOCA) 08 8953 1118
AIDS Council of New South Wales(ACON) 02 9206 2000
AIDS Council of South Australia(ACSA) 08 8362 1611
Northern Territory AIDS Council(NTAC) 08 8941 1711
Queensland AIDS Council(QuAC) 07 3844 1990 Information: 180 177 434
Tasmanian Council on AIDS & Related Diseases (TasCARD)
Hobart: 03 6224 034 Information: 1800 005 900
Launceston: 03 6334 4044 Freecall: 1900 633 900
Victorian AIDS Council Gay Men’s Health Centre(VACGMHC) 03 9865 6700
Western Australia AIDS Council(WAAC) 08 9429 9900
PLWHA (People Living With HIV & AIDS).
If you are HIV positive or know someone who is and would like to find out more about care, why not call PLWHA.
ACT 02 6257 4985
New South Wales 02 9361 6011 Freecall: 1800 245 67
Northern Territory (Firends NT) 08 8941 1711
Queensland (QLD Positive People) 07 3846 3939 Freecall: 1800 177 434
South Australia 08 8431 5594
Tasmania (TAS Positive People) 03 6224 1034
Victoria 03 9525 4455
Victoria (Positive Women) 03 9276 6918