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Saturday 27 May 2017

Quake advice and asistance for HIV+ people

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 25th February 2011

A Christchurch HIV positive people's advocate is offering to assist those with medication access problems created by the turmoil of the disastrous earthquake.

Ray Taylor says he is available to assist those local men or visitors caught up in the tragedy to approach pharmacists for the lifesaving drugs. Over three quarters of those living with HIV in New Zealand are gay and bi men, and Taylor says those who cannot return to their homes or accommodation must still take their life-saving medication every day without fail.

"Locals should contact their GP or regular pharmacist if they can, but if that is not possible I am happy to assist anyone with HIV to make contact with the hospital pharmacy to ensure uninterrupted supply," he says. Taylor has already assisted one man to source his meds and says the city's pharmacists, including those at Christchurch Public Hospital, have been extremely understanding and helpful.

Amidst the severe disruption to daily life caused by the massive quake Taylor is advising those with HIV or HIV-related medical problems to monitor themselves for any onset of symptoms such as strokes or heart problems which are increasingly affecting those who have been taking anti-HIV medications long term. "If you believe you have chest pains or other symptoms don't hesitate to get medical help," he advises. He says that in the coming days stress could take a toll on people living with HIV.

And for those coping with HIV-related diarrhoea in a city still lacking water and working sewers in many areas he has some practical advice. "Stretch a plastic  supermarket bag across a toilet seat, do the business then tie it off and dispose of it temporarily in a sealed bin or bury it in the garden."

Taylor also suggests HIV positive people in his shattered city should be extra careful with hygiene due to their possibly compromised immune systems. "Wash your hands thoroughly, or use hand sanitisers, especially after toileting and before eating, he advises.

For those seeking advice or support Taylor can be contacted, by email initially, through

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