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.’’
Shepparton police are looking for Vikramjit Singh, who escaped Dhurringile Prison last night.
Yarrawonga Football Netball Club senior footballer Jeremy O’Brien celebrated his 200th senior Ovens and Murray Football Netball League game against the Wodonga Bulldogs on Saturday.
Following a concerted effort by Merrigum Community Group to upgrade signage in the town, it was announced at last Monday’s community meeting that design of a new information sign, to be located near the bus shelter in Waverley Ave, has been completed.
Echuca Special Olympics basketball team won a gold and silver medal at the Winter State Games.
Rochester resident John Constable has received the latest vision scanner available, thanks to Rochester Lions.
100 days at Tongala Primary.
It's not everyday you get 'most sincere thanks' from the Queen - as a Seymour girl found out.
St Joseph's Jerilderie teacher Steve Jones has released an album with his band, Steve Jones and The Velvet Glove.
The district has shivered during the past couple of weeks with night temperatures falling below zero. For those prepared to brave the winter chill, Lake Eppalock offers stunning scenery and yellow wattle brightens district forests.
Black Dog ride participants meet up in Cobram before they burn rubber to beat the blues.
Deniliquin woman Georgia Henderson calls on Member for Farrer Sussan Ley to come out in support of same-sex marriage.
Wheat crops sown at the end of April to mid-May were two to three weeks early, increasing the risk of frost damage, the Finley Discussion Group’s meetings earlier this month heard.
John 'Jack' Roe remembered as a gentleman; battle-scared but a genuine, dignified man of integrity.
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.