In 2003, a few people living with HIV, who convened through personal connections, conducted the first meetings of the association. A few doctors, activists and even fellows from organizations such as UNAIDS also joined these meetings over time. In October 2003, constant communication was ensured by forming the HIV POSITIVE e-mail group. This e-mail group created a safe space, a fast and easy communication channel, particularly for people living with HIV who reside outside Istanbul and have internet access.
Along with the e-mail group members, they took measures to turn this alliance into an official identity and organization by convening physically with non-members of the group as well. The organization process accelerated in 2004 and became even more professional with measures such as issuing a statute, designation of goals and objectives, clarification of our mission and vision. Positive Living Association was officially established in June 2005 in an attempt to advocate the fundamental rights of people living with HIV, ensure their empowerment and solidarity by organizing, enhance their knowledge level, fight against prejudices, and raise HIV awareness.
Our association, which emprised the whole country’s HIV/AIDS issues, was formed of a few doctors, activists and people living with HIV from every walk of life. The effects of organization, advocation and solidarity on human life have been acknowledged and experienced through the conducted studies even though the association had no physical office yet. People living with HIV, who avoided contact with one another, were now going to hospital together, advocating for each other’s rights.
In 2006, one year after our establishment, $5 million was granted to HIV/AIDS Prevention and Support Program by virtue of the protocol signed between Global Fund (a global organization that aims to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria) and the government. And Positive Living Support Center was enacted as part of this program run by The Ministry of Health. Concurrently, it became a center where people living with HIV could get discreet service without any privacy concern, where they could socialize and attend trainings through organized events.
Positive Living Support Center passes on its knowledge and experience gained over years not only to public enterprises, local authorities and civil society organizations, but also to any foundation and anyone interested in the matter, and it has become an umbrella organization developing projects facilitating the lives of people living with HIV, and advocating for their rights.
We continue to reach and change thousands of lives with the projects that grow stronger, more experienced and more innovative each year.
To create a society that keeps abreast of accurate and up-to-date information about HIV, that is free from prejudice and discrimination against people living with HIV whatsoever, where all people have easy access to quality and free services regarding prevention, early diagnosis, support, treatment and care, and where all rights of these people are protected by effective laws.
Positive Living Association, which was founded by the alliance of people living with HIV, their relatives, volunteers and relevant professionals, aims to reach all people living with HIV, whether or not they’re diagnosed with HIV. It strives to ensure that these people and their relatives benefit from the quality and free services regarding prevention, early diagnosis, treatment, support and care without being subjected to any discrimination, and it also strives for their physical and mental empowerment. In order to secure the full exercise of their rights without any issues, the association undertakes to offer counseling and support services, raise awareness, and contribute to monitoring and development of the services and legislations by cooperating with public and civil society organizations working in this field.