17 Oct 2023
With the range of HIV treatment options out there today, people living with HIV (PLHIV) are living well into old age. While this is fantastic news, there are also unique health challenges for PLHIV.
This is particularly the case for people over 50 who were diagnosed with HIV before we had successful antiretroviral therapies (ART) and who may have developed a range of comorbidities (or co-existing medical conditions). In partnership with Living Positive Victoria, Thorne Harbour Health has been delivering the Taking Charge project since 2017 to support PLHIV as they navigate these challenges.
As part of Taking Charge, our Self-Management Workshop series is for all PLHIV with chronic conditions directly related to their HIV status. Runing once a week for six weeks, the workshops are a place where mutual support and success build participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active, fulfilling lives. Each participant is supported to tailor the workshop content to their own needs.
Trained workshop leaders, with chronic health conditions themselves, take participants through sessions focused on topics like healthy eating, breathing, medication, communication, action planning, problem-solving, and more.
Over three decades of research from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California shows that self-management programs help people gain self-confidence in their abilities to control their symptoms, better manage their health problems, and lead fuller lives. Our workshop series draws on these programs and their principles of community-based health education and empowerment.
When this workshop was run in the past, participants gained valuable knowledge and skills to manage their HIV and their health. We broke down isolation and stigma by connecting with others, and created a supportive environment where goals could be set and achieved.
Gerry O'Brien, Program Facilitator
The latest round of workshops starts in-person and online on Wednesday 8th November 2023. Click here to find out more.