MAC AIDS – Supporting women living with HIV/AIDS in British Columbia to lead the fullest lives possible.
“I’m doing well and it’s because of the loving concern of good people like you in my life”
Living with HIV/AIDS can mean living with stigma and isolation – and this can impact health in disastrous ways. BC Women’s is bringing HIV+ women together to combat the social challenges of this disease through the MAC AIDS funded Peer Support Groups for Women living with HIV/AIDS.
Peer driven support groups are effective because the peer leaders, ‘Facilitators’, have the shared experience of living with HIV. The peer support model allows women to speak freely in an environment with no stigma or judgement – sometimes for the very first time. In the groups, HIV+ women are strengthening each other and themselves. One Peer facilitator states:
“I like to run the groups as a sisterhood, we are all there to share and support each other and what we are doing is creating community. I see friendships being made and women meeting up outside of the group to do things together. This is wonderful because so many women feel lonely and live in isolation.”
Since 2011, the Peer Support Groups funded by MAC AIDS have given up to 120 HIV+ women every year a safe space to gather, learn, connect and gain skills and confidence. The most recent $45,000 gift to the program means that HIV+ women will be getting the support they need from peers who understand the challenges they face. This year, MAC AIDS funds are also helping to provide our most isolated patients with the life changing mobile health (mHealth) service WelTel.
Thank you MAC AIDS for your life saving support!