Programs and Services

In the Loop

In the Loop is a free therapeutic workshop for partners, family and friends, of people living with HIV (PLHIV). The structure of the workshop is flexible. The aim is to provide information on HIV and the services available in the community and then focus on self-care and ways the participants might support themselves in their role.

The needs of those close to PLHIV have frequently taken a back seat when planning support programs within the HIV community. In some occasions, people can feel helpless in the face of the illness and are unable to adequately tend to their own needs. They might postpone their own medical appointment or cancel a social engagement on account of the person they are looking after or might feel unable to seek extra help or even consider the possibility of a break from their role. It might be impossible for them to inquire about their loved one’s health for fear of upsetting him or her.

There can also be an issue of confidentiality and sometimes PLHIV request absolute secrecy around their diagnosis. On other occasions the partner or carer may have imposed their own silence around HIV for fear of discrimination and rejection by people in their immediate circle. The effect of this secrecy and stigma may isolate the PLHIV as well as those involved in their support.

One participant wrote the following after attending the workshop:

“The program you put together was outstanding and in the past week or so I have called upon the information you provided at least twenty times a day. I have read a myriad of books on HIV but the experience of talking to people outweighs them all. Your calm and reassuring approach to all of us was a comfort beyond words.”

For more information about upcoming workshops contact us at 03 9863 8733