Five years ago this weekend The Institute of Many was born when co-founders Jeff Lange and Nic Holas met at Genesis, a workshop for newly diagnosed People Living with HIV.
It’s safe to say this is the most worthwhile thing we have done with our lives, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the thousands of People Living with HIV who have engaged with TIM as members, supporters, moderators, event hosts, graphic designers, web designers, provocateurs, advocates, champions, and friends.
TIM members all are here for one another, challenge each other, care for each other, and propel the HIV+ community forward. We are diverse (male, female, cis, trans, intersex, gay, straight, bi, Aboriginal, black, white, Asian, Latinx, and more). Some of us are experiencing homelessness. Others live with mental illness, disability, or oppression. None of us let HIV define us.
TIM has seen members find friendships, understanding, and even love. It has made many of us more empathetic to the experiences of living with HIV that are different to our own.
More than anything, in five short years, TIM has played a big role in the way PLHIV feel about themselves, and how Australia thinks about HIV.
For all of you outside the group, thank you for following our journey.