Brent Allan reflects on the attitudes and challenges facing people living with HIV today

About the author

Brent Allan is a member of the Positive Perspectives Steering Committee. He is an Senior Advisor for the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (AUS) & International Council of AIDS Service Organisations (CDN)

The Positive Perspectives survey

In 2017, I was proud to be invited to participate as a Steering Committee member for the Positive Perspectives survey, as it is one of the few international surveys of PLHIV that illustrates the commonalities and differences between countries. It achieves this by using the same research methodology to capture the perceptions and attitudes of PLHIV across multiple countries.

I hope that the results from the survey have encouraged these countries to look beyond their borders to share challenges and successful innovations to improve inter-country collaboration. We mustn’t forget that HIV is a global issue that needs an ongoing and collaborative response.

The most significant challenge currently impacting the lives of PLHIV is without a doubt the inequity of access

The fact is that many PLHIV continue to face an uncertain future. Many do not know whether or not they will be able to get the treatments that they need to save their life or if they will be able to access quality healthcare support for their treatment.

Beneath this inequality is the stigma that makes us fear who we are, the possibilities for our future and silences the voice from speaking up for what is right. To overcome this issue, we must call upon all parts of the global HIV response to listen to these stories and work together to create the change that PLHIV are saying needs to happen. PLHIV are the central players in the fight against HIV. They are the educators and the change agents not just on a campaign-to-campaign basis, but they should be continuously consulted.

Video of Brent discussing his thoughts on HIV and stigma

In the future, I hope that we can continue to use the learnings gathered from the Positive Perspectives survey and implement them in even more regions of the world. ViiV Healthcare has started a conversation and it’s incumbent upon us as a community to ensure it continues.

For more information on the Positive Perspectives survey, and to learn more about the partnerships that ViiV Healthcare had in this initiative, please download the latest report. Additionally, for more survey insights


[1] Murungi A, et al. Experience of living with HIV: Diagnosis & Disclosure – findings from the Positive Perspectives study. Presented at the IAS Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2017), 23-26 July 2017, Paris, France. Abstract: WEPED1423

[2] Positive Perspectives Survey, 2017 DOF