POSITIVE SPEAKERS BUREAU

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Who we are

The Positive Speakers Bureau (PSB) is a group of HIV positive people who are trained and experienced public speakers. All are willing to speak openly about the realities of living with HIV and can provide HIV-related information relevant to your particular audience.

Our speakers represent a wide variety of people living with HIV – we are male and female; single and partnered; gay and straight; younger and older. Some of us are parents and grandparents. We come from various professional backgrounds.

We are all committed to reducing HIV transmission through:

  • Sharing our personal story and the reality of living with HIV/AIDS.
  • Providing relevant information where appropriate and requested.
  • Challenging myths and preconceptions about HIV/AIDS to reduce stigma and discrimination.

As long as HIV infections continue, we believe we have a responsibility to address the stigma, fear and discrimination that surrounds HIV and AIDS. Our presentations contribute to achieving this goal.

Our presentations

We give presentations to a wide variety of audiences – health workers, university students, politicians, business leaders, school students, service clubs, GLBTI groups, community events, community services workers and the general public. We've spoken at meetings, training sessions, classes, workshops, conferences … and even a breakfast and a cocktail party. We carefully match speakers and audience, to ensure that every presentation is relevant.

Our presentation styles vary from storytelling, to dramatic performances, to lectures, to leading informal group discussions.

Some speakers mainly focus on their personal story. Others cover issues as varied as: history of HIV, HIV treatments, HIV transmission, discrimination and stigma, financial realities of HIV, experiences of health/welfare services, sexuality, drug and alcohol use, mental health and basic medical information.

Feedback on our speakers

Feedback on our presentations has been overwhelmingly positive.

EVERY organisation that completed a recent evaluation said that they would request a PSB speaker again. They particularly mentioned the quality of our speakers, their capacity to keep audiences engaged, their depth of knowledge, the variety of topics offered, the extra impact of their 'real life' experience, their openness about their life experiences, their use of clear language suited to the audience, their willingness to answer questions, their professionalism … and our ability to match speakers to each group's needs. Above all, it was universally agreed that EVERY presentation contributed to reducing stigma and discrimination against HIV-positive people.

What participants say

I have an excellent history with the Positive Speakers Bureau and have always been pleased with the quality and knowledge of the speakers. (HIV Educator)

VERY worthwhile. Impressed with speaker's ability to be frank. The speaker "held" the attention of clients who normally do not willingly participate in such events. (Community Nurse)

I’m in my 4th Year, and this was the best lecture I’ve been to! (Pharmacy student)

We were really impressed with (the speaker's) presentation and really appreciate him going to so much effort to make it so engaging and relevant for our audience. (Medical Student)

(The speaker was) very open, honest and brave to share his information. Tells it like it is. (School Chaplain)

Best in-service I have been to – very interesting and presenters were informative, open and funny. (Hospital Nurse)

The speakers were great at putting a face, heart and soul before the virus and thus allowing a more clear perspective of HIV. (Health Promotion Officer)

… an eye opener to the need for everyone to take precautions when engaging in risky behaviours. (Student)

The personal story of the speaker really made me realise how much stigma and discrimination still occurs. (New HIV Sector Worker)

It was very entertaining and (the speaker) kept the audience's attention, but many serious issues were also discussed in detail. I found it very exciting and informative. (Medical Student)

I was blown away by your confidence and positive outlook and you really made me view HIV as a personal experience rather than just a clinical condition. Thank you! (Nursing student)

Advance preparation

Please respect the right of our speakers to confidentiality of their personal details. In particular, organisations are requested to use first names only in any promotional material, unless this is negotiated in advance with the speaker.

Once a speaker is allocated to your booking, they will contact you to get a picture of the audience, the context in which the session is occurring and details of the topics you'd like covered. Where appropriate, it can be useful for you to provide an opportunity for participants to clarify their specific interests, expectations and questions, prior to the presentation.

HIV positive speakers can have a significant and powerful impact on audience members. This may raise issues for some participants (e.g. someone who has a loved one with HIV, who has previously chosen not to share this information with the group). Organisations are responsible for providing appropriate support for any audience member who has emotional matters arising from the presentation.

Click here to Request a Speaker

p: 0410 707 923
a: co/ SIN 220 South Road, Mile End
m: PO Box 117, Black Forest SA 5035
e: president@hivsa.org.au
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