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Media + Events

Your story told in words, by podcast and video

14/05/2020

These Are Our Stories is just one part of the Women and HIV: Tell The Story project, Heather Ellis, peer-project leader, explains how you can write, use your voice and be filmed to tell your story.

Over the next months, there will be three exciting opportunities to tell your story as part of These Are Our Stories. You can write a feature article for a webzine; be interviewed for a podcast; and be filmed for a video. The stories told via these three mediums aim to challenge myths and stereotypes, and raise awareness to help end HIV stigma. Your stories will also be especially helpful and comforting for women newly diagnosed, and for their families and friends to gain a better understanding of what an HIV diagnosis means today.

The webzine (an online magazine), is a series of feature stories written by you that aim to provide an insight into our diverse experiences living with HIV. Each story will be approximately 1500 words and will focus on one of five topics with a contributor fee offered for each story. You can choose to write your story anonymously, or use your first or full name.

The five topics focus on: U=U (Undetectable equals Untransmittable) and what it might mean for you; dating and relationships; your experience of how partners, family, friends and employers and responded to or supported you as a person with HIV; motherhood; and ageing.

As a peer-led project, the stories for the webzine will be written by you in your own words. However, for some women writing their story can be a confronting and daunting task when faced with the practicalities of where to start and what to write. A handout of writing tips to build skills can be provided. Women can also choose to be interviewed by the peer project leader with a list of questions provided beforehand to help guide the interview. A transcript of the interview will be provided to assist you to complete the writing process. Seeing the words on the page can be a powerful first step in shaping your story into your own words using your own voice. At every stage of the writing process, editing support can be provided if requested. You will always have final approval of your story and can withdraw it from publication at any time.

The podcast will be a series of conversational-style 30-minute interviews with about life with HIV based on one of the five topics. The interview will be conducted online via your computer on a platform such as Skype, so there’s no need to leave the comfort of your own home. You will receive a link to the interview for your final approval before it goes live and can withdraw it from broadcast at any time.

The video will be a 30 minute conversational-style account that is relevant and up-to-date about life with HIV for women. Even though Covid19 restrictions are slowly being eased, we still can’t yet meet face to face, so filming will be scheduled when it’s safe and possible. So watch this space for an update.

The webzine, podcast and video will be available for download from PWV’s website where all can be shared with the world.

If you’re interested in writing your story, being interviewed on the podcast and/or being filmed for the video, or would like to learn more about what is involved, please contact Heather or any of the peer support team at Positive Women Victoria.

Learn More about the Women and HIV: Tell The Story project.

Contact Heather Ellis directly to be involved via 0425 720 193 or email h.ellis@bigpond.com.