Demarginalising PLHIV through shared leadership aspirations building resilience and more cohesive communities

Stream: Living with HIV
Date: Thursday, 31 March 2016
Time: 11.15 am – 1.00 pm


The Stigma Audit (2012) by the National Association of People living with HIV Australia found that psychological resilience was a key factor in determining how PLHIV deal with HIV stigma. It issued a challenge to build programs and services that focused upon building individual resilience in order to reduce the marginalising effects that HIV stigma plays in the response to HIV.

The Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) is a weekend residential workshop facilitated by and for PLHIV. It is predicated upon exploiting community diversity and demonstrating that a powerful community is made up of enabled and empowered individuals. Participants are exposed to the notions of PLHIV identity, belonging, culture and history through shared experiences meant to strengthen their commitment to addressing marginalisation in their own way. They explore individual examinations of values, behaviours and attitudes as well as defining a theory of leadership development that can be applied across numerous contexts. There are also discussions on the manifestations of HIV stigma and how to address it. Consequently there is an encouragement and fostering of a shared sense of belonging and camaraderie which builds a network of stronger more robust community cohesion.

Resilience building has been shown to positively counter the damaging effects of marginalisation across numerous populations. An increased confidence, visible presence and volume of diverse PLHIV across the community provides a role modelling effect. This ‘coming out’ process challenges HIV stigma head on, fosters opportunities for PLHIV to engage to social change and ultimately de-marginalises PLHIV in the process.


Vic Perri (Presenter), Living Positive Victoria

Jesse Hooper, Queensland Positive People

Brent Clifton (Presenter), Australian Federation of AIDS Organiastions

Brent Allan, Living Positive Victoria