No matter where you come from, what you've been through or where you find yourself today; you can overcome anything.
This is at the core of Ji Wallace's "Stronger Than You Think" campaign. This project aims to break down any missconceptions that HIV renders you in any way "weak", and in fact seeks to empower the community to overcome whatever may come their way.
In June of 2017, a group of PLHIV along with their friends, family and allies took on the historic Kokoda trail in Papua New Guinea. The trek essentially aimed to challenge the stigma and discrimination directed at PLHIV (People Living with HIV).
Participants in the trek experienced some aspects of how gruelling and perilous the Kokoda trail was during World War II - and built upon the legacy of the brave soldiers who fought along this trail. The seemingly insurmountable challenges are the epitome of courage and resilience that PLHIV also display.
HIV is not what it used to be, so we hope this trek will send a message to everyone not to treat PLHIV any differently, and dispel the myth that living with HIV makes one weak or incapable in some way.
Kokoda+ is a unique initiative created by the community, for the community. With the help of HIV Foundation Queensland, UNAIDS, IGATHope, QPP and the National AIDS Council for Papua New Guinea, we hope to use our documentary of Kokoda+ as an opportunity to create widespread awareness of HIV-related stigma on a state/national level.
For more information and statistics regarding HIV, and HIV Stigma, please visit www.qpp.org.au.