“It has gotn’t altered me personally as people a€“ we still have the activities we thought, enjoy the points we treasured, and are entitled to stuff we deserved,” he states. “I’m nonetheless an event man, i enjoy go out and boogie.”

What exactly is altered usually he today takes two medicine every morning to curb the herpes virus, and details his HIV status on Grindr as “positive, undetectable”. There’s also a brand new range inside the profile: “pleased to answer questions on HIV cures and reduction”.

William features gender with HIV good, HIV positive and undetectable, and HIV negative males. He states locating somebody as an HIV positive and invisible people is actually “not necessarily a concern” a€“ though Hamilton’s minimal gay nightlife doesn’t let.

“That’d be the circumstances whether I happened to be positive or not. More homosexual men become fairly tolerant and knowledgeable about HIV today.”


While nothing like for the ’80s and ’90s, stigma still clings to the people with HIV.

William receives the strange message on Grindr along the lines of “everyone with HIV should really be curved up-and shot”. He is been defeated up by a group who would overheard him talking about a brand new Zealand HELPS Foundation campaign in a bar finally Sep.

“these people were drunk, we were drunk, as well as in some way made the decision we were likely to provide them with helps,” clarifies William. “so they really chased all of us into this club and started installing into my personal face.”

The irony with the scenario tends to make him laugh: “these people were punching me personally inside the face, since they thought I’d helps, practically making myself bleed on the fists. I am not sure how they believed Aids gets spread, even so they certainly were not heading about not receiving it really safer way.”

William writes the verbal and actual assaults off as more and more rare acts of lack of knowledge and does not grab them to cardiovascular system.

Exactly what worries your would be that mothers of pupils at his school might self an HIV positive person instructing their children. Personnel discover his good status – the actual fact that William is not needed legally to reveal they – but he says he doesn’t want to be accountable for the school losing company.


African forums in brand new Zealand face some of the finest amounts of stigma around HIV, according to NZAF, and Judith was afflicted by it.

Whenever she first told individuals about their diagnosis, that has been maybe not for a long time after making the Mangere Refugee middle, her buddies are too nervous to create young ones to the girl household.

“There was many news,” she says. HIV and Aids include associated with infidelity and promiscuity a€“ sins inside the eyes of several old-fashioned African countries.

Judith states she continues to have little idea exactly how she contracted HIV. It might have now been from the lady husband, or from when she have malaria and was given procedures via the same needle the rest of us in line for medication had been jabbed with.

It could happen right after the genocide, whenever she had a straight back tooth eliminated. “Who knows when the dental care devices was thoroughly clean,” she claims. “plenty healthcare equipment was indeed destroyed from inside the battle, they made use of such a thing the could.”

She was part of a post-war rise of Rwandan HIV matters. Most had been contracted through Hutus’ endemic using rape as a weapon against Tutsis.

When Judith accompanied friends for females with HIV and discovered that singular of the 60 lady there have spoken openly about their reputation, she states “it considered perhaps not proper”.

“we realised I needed to dicuss,” she says. “Individuals had a need to speak to how to message someone on eastmeeteast the African and migrant communities specifically. These people were stating God ended up being punishing all of us a€“ nevertheless when they hear about my entire life, we read all of them imagine ‘hmm, why would God punish your?'”

Judith have forged a career through talking aside concerning facts of being HIV positive. She today works best for NZAF as a residential district engagement coordinator, battling the stigma that renders members of African forums less likely to become analyzed to begin with, and reluctant to take prescription or reveal their unique updates if positive.


In parts of New Zealand’s homosexual area, HIV has grown to become normalised to the stage anyone could become very nearly too blasA© about it, says William.

“You’ll find those who envision there’s no difference between having they and not creating they a€“ you still have to need a capsule every day, end up being that treatment or PrEP. Addititionally there is that feeling of comfort you will never need to worry about getting hired once again.”

William claims he’s have information on Grindr from males keen to offer HIV a€“ a thought called ‘bug-chasing’ that produces their epidermis spider.

“i have heard a number of horrifying stories about gift-giving events,” he says. Gift-givers would be the HIV positive guys whom follow bug-chasers’ wish to be contaminated utilizing the malware.

The guy reckons it really is an effort to “feel part of a residential district, fill an emotional emptiness, or be something larger than themselves”.


Strolling the tightrope between eliminating HIV’s stigma and guaranteeing anyone nonetheless go seriously as a sickness try confusing, William and Judith consent.

“i do believe regarding people who arrived prior to, which battled in regards to our rights, is treated alike rather than end up being handled as plague subjects,” claims William. “How many bring passed away.”

Both William and Judith find it hard to write any genuine downsides in having HIV now. Nonetheless’re acutely conscious that without the pills they may be bound to throughout their particular schedules, they’d eventually yield to pneumonia, anal cancer, kaposi sarcoma or any of the assortment of conditions that kill helps sufferers.

NZAF really wants to minimize brand-new transmissions by 2025 a€“ which could be great for all the taxpayer, as an eternity of treatment plan for an HIV positive individual costs about $800,000.