Charlie Tredway, NAPWHA Project Officer and passionate community advocate, shares with Dr John Rule (NAPWHA Senior Research Manager) a peer-run and community-led initiative that was developed by NAPWHA to support social connection during the restriction stages of COVID-19 lockdown in Australia from May-September 2020.
Chinwag: Positive Connections was a 12-week series of 1-hour video meetings which ran on Friday evenings from May until September 2020, aiming to create a safe, informative, and inclusive space for social connection. It was hosted by Vanessa Wagner and HIV Peer Supporters from around the country. The initiative responded directly to a NAPWHA survey which was run in April 2020, enquiring into the impact of COVID-19 on people living with HIV where 147 participants responded.
In this interview, Charlie shares with John some of his own personal experiences of mental during the COVID-19 lockdown.
This interview was recorded on 28 October 2020
Virtual 2020 Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference
At the virtually-held Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference (18 – 20 November 2020), Charlie will also share his lived-experience and insights as part of a panel discussion session that will focus on the increasing importance and prominence of mental health during COVID-19. This includes the impact on patients and affected communities as well as providers – either as typical reaction to the stress of living and working in a COVID-19 context but also the challenges of addressing and meeting the needs of people with specific psychological issues (including health care workers) and those with more distinct mental illness and co-morbidities. This will also include a focus on people with HIV, long-term who have been impacted by the current pandemic and resilience/support.
Moreover at the Australasian HIV AIDS Conference, Vanessa Wagner will host a special lunchtime CHINWAG to give conference attendees the opportunity to talk directly with HIV Peer Supporters from around the country; Sarah Feagan (Living Positive Victoria), Ruan Uys (Bobby Goldsmith Foundation), Glenn Ryall (Queensland Positive People), and Charlie Tredway (NAPWHA). The conference event aims to provide a fun and informative hour and hear about health and support delivery viewed through the lens of people living with HIV.
The National Association of People with HIV Australia (NAPWHA) is Australia’s peak non-government organisation representing community-based groups of people living with HIV across Australia. In this video series, we share the experiences and responses of communities managing and adapting to the unfolding 2020 pandemic.
Hear other video episodes
In this series, Dr John Rule reports back from the NAPWHA members to hear about community stories and community-led responses adapting to life during COVID-19.
Taking the Temperature — Episode 01 — Sam and Wilo
Taking the Temperature — Episode 02 — Richard Keane
Taking the Temperature — Episode 03 — Kirsty Machon
Taking the Temperature — Episode 04 — Anth McCarthy
Taking the Temperature — Episode 05 — Hayden Patterson
*** CHINWAG has now concluded ***
This is a safe, inclusive and dynamic virtual space where every Friday, for one hour, the ever fabulous Vanessa Wagner will be hosting a Zoom video conference event called CHINWAG: Positive Connection with a team of HIV Peer supporters.
- 5:00-6:00 pm (Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney)
- 4:30-5:30 pm (Adelaide, Alice Springs, Darwin)
- 3:00-4:00 pm (Perth)
CHINWAG: Positive Connection aims to create a fun space for people living with HIV to have a yarn, unwind and come together.
Over 12 weeks the series of events has been wildly popular exceeding all our hopes for the project and we are immensely grateful to you for spending your Friday evenings with us and creating such a warm, open and supportive space.
Chinwag would not have been possible without our incomparable host, along with an amazing stable of special guests, each of whom brought their expertise, passion, and generosity to the event, giving their time to help our community through COVID-19:
- Friday 22 May: Inaugural meeting with Vanessa Wagner
- Friday 29 May: Christopher Brett-Renes (Psychosexual therapist, health educator and sexual health/HIV researcher)
- Friday 5 June: Joel Murray (ACON Senior Manager of the community health programs team, which includes the alcohol and other drugs program and needle syringe program)
- Friday 12 June: Brent Clifton (Project Coordinator of RISE study at Kirby Institute UNSW)
- Friday 19 June: Associate Professor Edwina Wright (Infectious diseases physician & clinical researcher at The Alfred and Burnet Institute)
- Friday 26 June: Nic Holas (HIV activist; campaigns director for Change.org Australia; co-founder of The Institute of Many)
- Friday 3 July: Vikas Parwani (Solicitor of The HIV/AIDS Legal Centre – HALC)
- Friday 10 July: Michelle Tobin (Community Advocate for the well-being and human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in NSW)
- Friday 17 July: Greg Owen (London-based HIV advocate and co-founder of I Want Prep Now in the UK; PrEP Lead for Terrence Higgins Trust)
- Friday 24 July: Jules Kim (CEO of Scarlet Alliance)
- In July-August, Chinwag will break for 4 weeks
- Friday 28 August: Professor Sharon Lewin (Inaugural Director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity)
- Friday 11 September: Bruce Richman (Founding Executive Director of Prevention Access Campaign)
For any questions regarding this event, contact Charlie Tredway (Project Officer; Community Engagement) via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
MORE THANK YOUS
We had incredible team of HIV peer supporters from across Australia join us each week to provide valuable lived experience, one-on-one support and linkage to care:
- Sarah from Living Positive Victoria
- Glenn from Queensland Positive People
- Ruan from Bobby Goldsmith Foundation
- Neil from Positive Life NSW
We also would like to thank ViiV Healthcare for their support to help bring this initiative to life. It has been an honour getting to spend this time with every single person who attended.
This is an initiative which is responding to a NAPWHA survey in April 2020 where we looked at the impact of COVID-19 on people living with HIV. From the 150 participants, the key things that stood out were the challenges of isolation and the need for meaningful interaction. 65% of participants selected Social Connection and 41% of participants chose Mental Health support as two of their most pressing needs right now.
This activity was made possible with the support of ViiV Healthcare Australia