LETTERS 4.8.18

AIDS in name fuels stigma
THE Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Perth support the calls from HIV+ people for the WA AIDS Council to change their name at the forthcoming AGM to reflect the new medical reality that allows positive people to live longer, healthier lives while not transmitting HIV, when on treatments and not dying from AIDS.
Having the word AIDS in the name of the primary health provider for positive people is allowing the old stigmatisation and discrimination that is associated with AIDS to continue to reinforce tired old stereotypes of who positive people really are.
The term AIDS has long been known to be a barrier for people to seek help and services.
It seems while the WA AIDS Council is quick to encourage positive people to embrace this new reality, that are living with HIV today, they are unwilling to change their own public profile in line with this new paradigm and prefer to keep a brand name which invokes the grim reaper and the disempowered suffering AIDS victim at the expense of its client’s health and wellbeing.
It is time for the WA AIDS Council to update their current branding used for attracting funding as Eastern States HIV Groups have done.
This would be a start towards ending the stigma, discrimination and violence that is still experienced by people living with HIV in WA.
The Sisters call for this matter to be an agenda item for the membership to decide the name change at the forthcoming AGM.
As always the Sisters are happy to meet with the AIDS Council for a genuine and constructive dialogue about this matter at any time.
Neil Buckley
Wellington Street, Perth
Ed says: WA AIDS Council CEO David Kernohan told us the board would discuss the name change at an upcoming meeting in August. “As an incorporated association it can be a lengthy process to change names because we need to ensure the majority of members agree with any proposed change and then there is the legal process to go through.”

The tortoise and the hare
REGARDING the letter “Main Objection” in last week’s Voice.
The move towards lowering speed limits for vehicles on residential streets is not confined to Vincent, nor even Perth.
In towns and cities across Europe, the UK, and South and North America there has been a progressive move towards slower speeds on city streets.
In fact many of these new regulations set the maximum speed at 30km/h rather than 40.
In the UK for example, the 20 is Plenty program has ensured that many towns, cities and boroughs have lowered their speeds to 20 miles per hour (32km/h).  This movement towards lower vehicle speeds does have positive safety outcomes, as many studies have consistently demonstrated.
However this change represents something beyond improving safety: residents in cities across the world are identifying that streets form a part of their community life.
They see their local streets providing not just spaces “shared” with cars, but places where people are prioritised and vehicles enter in a way which ensures that the most vulnerable user, the pedestrian, can use the space safely.
The results of these altered environments is community building, improvements for local businesses, increased activity levels of people of all ages and a more socially-connected local area.
Geraldine Box, spokesperson for
Our Streets at 40
Alma Road, North Perth
This letter was edited for length.

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