This year we are celebrating the thirty-year anniversary of Pozhet.
How we began
In 1993, a counsellor at the Albion Centre, Patricia Austin, contacted the Department of Health as she recognised that there was little specific support for heterosexuals living with HIV. They suggested starting with a dedicated phone line. Albion Centre agreed to host the phone line under the supervision of Patricia, which commenced in 1993. Funding was then sustained by the Australian Department of Health to provide heterosexuals living with HIV/AIDS with a phone line and support groups.
Soon after, Central Sydney Area Health Service (now Sydney Local Health District) agreed to auspice the funding for Pozhet as a NSW-wide service. Pozhet remains under the umbrella of Sydney Local Health District today.
Pozhet organised a calendar of events for people living with HIV who identify as heterosexual, including retreats, workshops, a men’s shed, and an African Women’s group.
In 2023, the nature of HIV has changed. Pozhet is now providing prevention campaigns targeting heterosexuals at risk of HIV.