Celebrating a Quarter Century of Support and Hope
Prince George, B.C. – It is a day of celebration at Positive Living North in Prince George.
It has been 25 years since the volunteer effort originally called AIDS Prince George, has been offering services and supports to those with HIV/AIDS.
“I was there at the beginning” says Murry Krause, “It was really a small organization.”
It is estimated there are about 75 thousand people in Canada who have HIV/AIDS, nearly 25% of them under the age of 30.
25 years ago, being diagnosed with HIV/AIDS was akin to being given an early death sentence. That has changed as treatments have improved.
“When the organization was first started it was for primarily gay men who were infected with HIV” says Krause, ” It has evolved so dramatically , with hope for survival, and having a better life. It has changed, there is so much hope in it.”
Just as treatment and the prognosis for those with HIV/AIDS changed over the years, so has the population encountering the illness. Krause says HIV gets entrenched in more marginalized populations “It’s acknowledged all across Canada that Indigenous people are probably more affected by it than the gay community.”
Positive Living North provides the social supports to those who are infected. The program has been recognized over the years for the positive impact it has had, and continues to have, on the lives of those with HIV/AIDS “I think it really has been because it stayed true to a vision” says Krause “A vision of meeting the needs of people who are infected. They have a lot of infected people on their Board, and they are really staying true to that notion of what’s needed.”