What We Do
The Positive Speakers’ Bureau (PSB) support and train people living with HIV to become educators through the sharing of their lived experiences. This empowers people living with HIV to advocate for their rights and be part of the global HIV response.
We provide a unique opportunity for audiences to listen and learn about HIV and ask questions. Hearing stories in this intimate and personalised way is incredibly powerful for both the speaker and the audience.
Our speakers present to a range of audiences across all sectors; reducing fear, dispelling myths and offering a human face to HIV. Our services are entirely free of charge.
Breaking the silence and talking openly about HIV normalises it and offers opportunities to address misinformation, preventing future HIV transmission and challenging stigma and discrimination.
“Our Speaker was phenomenal. I appreciated being able to put a face to HIV instead of just thinking of it as three letters. I think the story our Speaker told made us more aware of stigmatism and reinforced how not to treat a patient. I couldn’t speak more highly of this speaker.”
— Kate, 2nd Year Medical Student
Why We Do This
Stigma and discrimination are often rooted in fear and misinformation. Many people have outdated ideas about HIV, including how the virus is passed on, and a lack of awareness of what it actually means to live with HIV today.
For many people living with HIV, stigma and discrimination contribute to feelings of shame and self-stigma, fear of disclosure, isolation, and despair.
All of this negatively impacts on HIV prevention. Misconceptions about who can and cannot become infected, and fear of being diagnosed with HIV due to stigma and discrimination mean people are less likely to get tested and treated. Undiagnosed HIV is one of the biggest reasons HIV continues to be transmitted in New Zealand.
Who We Are
The Positive Speakers’ Bureau is managed and administered by the registered charity Positive Women.
Our services are free, ensuring finances are never a barrier to those wishing to hear our Speakers.
The Positive Speakers’ Bureau receives a small allocation of funds per year from the Ministry of Health which is part of the wider Positive Women Inc funding contract.
However, these government funds only cover part of our operating expenses, and we are always grateful for contributions to help with costs e.g. petrol/flights, transfers and accommodation.
Our Speakers are from a diverse range of backgrounds and are passionate advocates for ending HIV stigma and discrimination. Speakers undergo extensive training and mentoring and can talk to a variety of audiences, from healthcare professionals and students to media and the general public.
Today, many of our Speakers are embedded within the healthcare education sector and are seen by industry professionals as an integral part of their students’ learning.
When you book a speaker we will work with you to match the Speaker to your requirements. We can also tailor our presentation to your audience.
The idea of centering people living with HIV as educators started in the USA during the AIDS epidemics of the 80’s and 90’s.
Australia’s Positive Speakers’ Bureau was set up soon afterwards, and this model was then piloted in New Zealand in the late 90’s.
In 1997 we delivered our first training to 10 Speakers in Auckland. Since then the New Zealand Positive Speakers Bureau has gone from strength to strength.
Today we are the preferred HIV education service provider in New Zealand, delivering 100+ presentations in 2019 by 30 different speakers from a variety of backgrounds, ethnicities, genders and sexualities.