Joint statement on the loss of HIV activist and ally Levinia Crooks
HIV/AIDS activist and ally, Levinia Crooks died on 15 October after a long battle with illness. Her contribution to the HIV sector spans more than two decades working and advocating for the rights and wellbeing of people living with HIV (PLHIV).
“Levinia’s contribution to the sector is immeasurable and she has always pushed for the voice of PLHIV to be at the forefront of the HIV response,” said Richard Keane, Living Positive Victoria President. “This is a huge loss to the sector and she will be deeply missed.”
For the last 18 years Levinia held the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM). In the early days of the HIV response, Levinia was a strong ally for ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), who fought to get treatment available more quickly to PLHIV. Her work in supporting the positive community has helped PLHIV build autonomy and create community-based organisations including the National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS (NAPWHA), Living Positive Victoria and Positive Women Victoria.
“Levinia Crooks was an outstanding figure within the HIV sector and will be missed,” said Sarah Feagan, Chair of Positive Women Victoria. “Levinia will be most remembered by the staff, board and members of Positive Women for the way she championed the voices of positive people and for her strong leadership within the HIV sector.”
“As an organisation that is here for all PLHIV, we are thankful for allies like Levinia that have come alongside the HIV community and has displayed a real passion and heart for PLHIV,” said Keane.
“Her work on behalf the sector is exemplary and we look forward to benefiting from her knowledge and advocacy skills for years to come.”