It’s never too early to take control

It’s never too early to take control

HIV Australia | Vol. 11 No. 2 | July 2013

Because people with HIV are now living longer, the management of other health conditions – including conditions affecting cardiovascular, liver, kidney and bone health – has become an increasing priority.

Although these are common conditions for many people, there are special considerations for people with HIV. By being aware of these potential challenges, and proactive ways of addressing them, people with HIV can maximise their health and wellbeing.

Articles in this edition of HIV Australia look at a range of these health issues, and discuss ways that people with HIV can proactively manage these conditions.

The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) has recently launched ‘Your Body Blueprint: For HIV and Healthy Living’, a new nationwide campaign for people living with HIV.

It aims to encourage and support HIV-positive people to lead healthier lives, reduce the risk of illness, and enhance quality of life.

The campaign‘s central message is that it’s never too early to take control of your health; the campaign aims to assist people with HIV to identify simple strategies for reducing the risk of developing some of these other conditions.

AFAO President, Willie Rowe explains: ‘By addressing these other health issues, people with HIV can help prevent these conditions and make significant improvements to their health and wellbeing.’

The ‘Your Body Blueprint’ campaign is based around a new interactive website ( The website allows people to navigate parts and systems of the body to learn more about the health issues relating to each specific area, and to find tips for reducing the risk of these conditions.

The website also provides a range of other important information and suggestions for healthy living with HIV, as well as links to other key sources of information.

‘Ensuring people living with HIV are aware of these issues is vitally important. This campaign provides this information in a way for people to easily find the information they want, and gives practical ideas for improving their health,’ said Robert Mitchell, President of the National Association of People with HIV Australia (NAPWHA).

The campaign will soon be rolled out across the country, and will be featured in a range of promotions including online and outdoor advertisements.

A variety of materials will be distributed for the campaign’s launch, including posters, cards and post-it note pads for clinicians. This is the first phase of an ongoing campaign.

A further two phases are already in development for the continuation of ‘Your Body Blueprint’. Copies of the campaign materials are available from AFAO and also from state-based AIDS councils and other organisations for people living with HIV.

Ben Wilcock is an AFAO HIV Education and Health Promotion Officer in the AFAO/ NAPWHA Education Team.