Click your heels together, and start walking.
In Wizards of Poz, our Dorothy is a wide-eyed hipster dream in gingham cut offs, just just his journey to “follow the undetectable viral load”.
HIV is a very personal journey. For some of us, being diagnosed is like landing house-first in a strange new land. For others, it’s another change in wind direction in an already crazy hurricane. How you land, where you’ve come from, and how that has shaped you as a person all dictates how ready, willing and able you are to start your HIV journey.
We can externalise HIV and turn it into a villain who is out to get us – but that means a life on the run. Or, we can learn to accept that HIV is a part of us, and nothing can change that. It’s how we live with it that matters. Getting there takes a journey, so click your heels together and start walking.
Why Charlie inspires TIM
Wizards of Poz is TIM’s first campaign, and we knew we wanted to honour the contributions of members who have put themselves into the world representing TIM or their personal experiences with HIV. People like Charlie Tredway, who we’ve transformed into our Poz Dorothy.
Charlie is one of TIM’s fearless moderators, navigating the busy world of the TIM Private Facebook Group, and it was his fresh approach to living with HIV that first caught our eye. Since joining the TIM community, Charlie has done a World AIDS Day “status update” and gone on to appeared in NZ and Australian HIV campaigns and in the media, talking openly about what it means for him to be HIV+.
Charlie sharing his story as part of an NZ HIV campaign.
One chapter in Charlie’s story is his journey to being undetectable. For a number of HIV+ people, getting to an undetectable viral load can take a lot longer than the average 6-8 weeks, and some may never getting to undetectable. Charlie is one of those people who have taken a longer road with his viral load. You can read more of his story on the Ending HIV blog.
Wizards of Poz is our first public community campaign. We’re doing it to celebrate our recent milestone of reaching 1000 members. The camp, colourful campaign is about empowering the HIV+ community, and celebrating our resilience.