At a meeting of the Trust Boards of the New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF) and Body Positive on Friday, 24 June the NZAF formally handed the Wellness Fund to Body Positive, representative of the National Collective of People Living with HIV.
Alastair Cameron NZAF Trust Board Chair, presented a cheque for $8000 to his Body Positive counterpart Scott Johnston. “This represents another step in the collaboration between our two organisations as we seek to support those living with HIV and combat the rising epidemic among gay and bisexual men” said Cameron. Mr Johnston agreed, stating that “Body Positive will be working with the NZAF to raise World AIDS Day funds that will be used for the Wellness Fund and HIV prevention.”
The Wellness Fund was established by NZAF in the 1980s to provide funding for treatments, palliative care, food, counselling and therapeutic interventions as part of an overall wellness programme. Approximately 100 to 150 people access the fund each year which has been administered by the NZAF up until now. The fund now covers HIV-related health costs for people living with HIV who have a community services card.
“New Zealand’s HIV peer support groups have members that are often the main recipients of grants from the Wellness Fund so it’s appropriate that National Collective of People Living with HIV manage the fund” says Cameron. Johnston emphasises that “the Wellness Fund will continue to be available for any person living with HIV regardless of whether they are a member of an HIV peer support group or not.”
Anyone wishing to access the Wellness Fund should Body Positive for an application form on 0800 HIV LINE (0800 448 5463)