“For the first time in 16 long and too-lonely years I have someone to talk to. Now, I have friends. And a reason to keep going.”

Curtis’ battle with HIV isolated him for too many precious years. However, it was through the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation’s health and well-being program that Curtis was able to reach out and become connected, supported and healthy once again, transforming his life.

Australia’s longest running HIV charity has provided support and refuge to thousands of vulnerable people living with HIV over the last 34 years. It has become their mission to limit the challenging circumstances of such an unrelenting disease. Through providing direct financial and practical assistance, emotional support, financial counselling, housing, and study and employment support, the BGF helps people to find a new sense of hope and assistance to get back on their feet. This not-for-profit organisation ensures people from all walks of life living with HIV are welcomed into an open, safe and inclusive environment, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, religion or sexual orientation. Through responding to the diverging needs of their clientele, the BGF is constantly adapting to the changing face of HIV.

The foundation originated after the death of Bobby Goldsmith, one of the first AIDS related deaths in Australia. Bobby was an active member of the gay community as well as a respected Australian athlete and dearly loved son, brother, partner, friend and uncle. Although it has been 34 years since his death, HIV and the social stigmas attached are still present, despite being a virus that anyone can contract. The BGF are constantly working to reverse the physical and emotional damage inflicted by the unforgiving virus by addressing social isolation and economic poverty to allow for healthy living.

No one should have to face HIV alone. For the month of February during Mardi Gras Festival, we will have a donation tin at the counter to collect donations to this incredible organisation. Want to do more? You can also donate at: https://www.donate.bgf.org.au/