Generation Y Guys
Over the past few years, younger men, under 30 years old, account for nearly 30 per cent of all new HIV diagnoses in Victoria and the experiences of these guys and their future expectations are much different than those who faced a diagnosis in the early days of the 1990s and earlier.
We also know from Private Lives 2 - a national survey of the health and Wellbeing of GLBT Australians (2013) that just over 40 per cent of young gay males, aged 16 to 24 years, recorded a high to very high score on general mental health risk scales (between 22 and 50) compared with 7 per cent of young males in the national population.
In response to the call for specific social spaces for younger HIV positive gay guys to meet and talk about their experiences of living with HIV, Living Positive Victoria has established Generation Y Guys.
"I came out as gay and was diagnosed after the advent of HIV treatments - this is my reality," says one of the participants of the group.
"While I appreciate the early days of HIV, what I really need is more opportunities to meet other young guys like myself, as much for social reasons as anything else."
This group caters to younger HIV positive gay men in their mid-30s and younger and will meet on a regular basis to support younger people with HIV to socialise and discuss living with HIV with their peers.
“So many guys like me, who are in their 30s and positive, are looking to make connections away from the scene with guys of a similar age to talk about things that are relevant to us,” Daniel a new member of the group says.
“Thankfully treatments are really good, so HIV as a health issue isn’t so prominent; that said, just today I discovered that my medications might be affected by the things I eat, so sharing information like that with someone who might not have known is always a good thing.
“I’m lucky to have an awesome partner, but I know from experience the dating scene is so, so much more challenging for us ‘poz’ guys and that if this group helps make those connections easier and less painful to make, it’s going to be a fun, and well attended group!”
President of Living Positive Victoria, Sam Venning, says:
"This group has been conceived by and will be hosted by younger guys living with HIV.
“We see our role as helping them facilitate and provide a safe and supportive place for younger guys living with HIV to meet, share their stories and hopefully learn from each other about living well with HIV."
If you are interested in more information on this group, please contact Vic on 03 9863 8739, livingpositivevictoria.org.au