Deniliquin man Peter Hall is raising awareness of HIV, a disease he contracted 11 years ago before leaving England.CASS SAVELLIS June 10, 2014 3:30am
Peter Hall is raising awareness of HIV, a disease he contracted 11 years ago before leaving England.
Peter Hall contracted HIV after being sexually assaulted at a party when he was 39 years old.
He was devastated when diagnosed.
Now aged 50 and having moved to Deniliquin from Melbourne a year ago, he is aiming to break down the barriers between the fact and fiction of the deadly virus.
Mr Hall believes there should be more education in schools and awareness among youth on HIV and its effects.
‘‘There is a definite social stigma attached to HIV. You can’t run away from something like that,’’ he said.
‘‘Not everyone will hire you because they’re scared they might contract it. But you can’t pass on HIV from sharing a kitchen or even using the same toilet seat.
‘‘Once you have HIV you can’t get private health, you can’t work in certain industries and can’t get life insurance.
‘‘You can’t make long term plans for the future. Everything changes.’’
However Mr Hall, who migrated to Australia from England in 2006, now wants to share his knowledge and experiences to assist young people in making the right life choices.
He bravely approached the Pastoral Times to tell his story.
‘‘I just want people to know the information is there if they want it; I’m an open book,’’ Mr Hall said.
‘‘Although this topic may offend some, younger people need to be educated enough not to make the same mistakes others have in the past.
‘‘I’d like to think the young people of Deni are able to make informed decisions and I want to give people an avenue to learn.
‘‘I’ve seen HIV speakers in Melbourne go around to schools and I think it’s a real benefit.
‘‘People are wary to talk about it because it’s known as the ‘gay plague’, but what people don’t know is that almost a quarter of transmissions affect heterosexual women.
‘‘Certainly worldwide it’s a major problem; there are 35 million around the world who have HIV. Everyone is going to know somebody that it has affected.’’
For Mr Hall, living with HIV, while manageable, is an everyday battle.
There is daily medication to help combat the virus, which weakens or breaks down your immune system and makes the body vulnerable to disease and infection.
And there is no known cure for HIV, which Mr Hall says ‘‘feels surreal at times’’.
However, he says his quality of life has improved since moving to a rural setting.
‘‘Living in Melbourne I was in hospital for three or four months a year,’’ Mr Hall said.
‘‘I’m now the healthiest I’ve ever been and I attribute that to being here.
‘‘There’s really good doctors here in town and most people want to get to know you.’’
Police abandoned a pursuit near Shepparton East for safety concerns after the pursued car reached speeds of 140km/h.
Some of Australia’s best kayakers were in Yarrawonga on Sunday at the annual Yarrawonga-Mulwala Canoe Club’s Murray River Classic kayak race.
Volunteers at St Vincent de Paul in Tatura continue to be dismayed at the amount of unsuitable items dumped at the centre in Francis St.
Budding basketballer Krystelle Lloyd will represent Australia at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles this year.
Corop’s Clem Furphy received an Order of Australia Medal for his service to health care and the Goulburn Valley community in this year’s Australia Day honours list.
Bianca Chatfield to speak at Kyabram Sportstar of the Year
Alan McLean looks back at Seymour's history of larrikings, louts and bushfires.
New tourism venture, Old Woperana Working Farm and Animal Nursery, is now open to the public.
Warm weather during the Christmas/New Year period saw large crowds enjoy facilities at the region’s major water storages.
Recent weather conditions have come as a mixed blessing for farmers, with high rainfall and humidity providing a respite for irrigators as well as difficult growing and picking conditions for fruit growers.
Deniliquin region deemed ideal for paragliding by world's best.
From orchards to harvest to shelves, a new exhibition will celebrate the Goulburn Valley’s iconic fruit industry. The Photos of the Fruit Industry exhibition will run as part of the SheppARTon Festival in March and aims to share memories and history of an industry that has shaped the region.
Salvation Army Benalla Majors Heather and Peter Ellis have relocated to Melbourne.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.