Online Connec+: New Group for People Living with HIV in BC
Positive Living BC has launched a new online peer support group called Online Connec+ for people living with HIV (PLHIV). Online Connec+ will provide HIV education, support and community referrals to people throughout the province who might otherwise be unable to access these services.
Online Connec+ will be facilitated by Positive Living BC’s Peer Navigators. A Peer Navigator is an HIV-positive person trained in HIV-specific health issues, self care, safer sex, sexually transmitted infections, and disease progression. Navigators offer a valuable perspective on managing HIV based on their personal experience with the illness, training and their experience working with other PLHIV.
Program leader Michael Crate notes, “Online Connec+ was started as a natural extension of the Peer Navigator program. The group will be an open format meeting. We will talk about what is currently going on for participants in relation to their HIV diagnosis. This might include health, treatment or self-care issues, stigma, isolation, disclosure, or dating. Peer Navigators will be there to facilitate the group, or do one-on-one counseling.” Elgin Lim, Positive Living BC’s manager of programs and services adds, “Living with HIV can be isolating, particularly in smaller communities. Online Connec+ can help people feel less alone, allow people to share experiences, and provide an opportunity to make new connections with other people living with HIV, no matter where they are in the province.”
Online Connec+ is open to anyone living with HIV in BC. All genders, sexualities and ages are welcome. The group will meet twice a month on Monday night from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. For more information or to participate, call Positive Living BC’s toll-free number (1-800-994-2437) and leave a confidential voicemail, or email Michael Crate at firstname.lastname@example.org.