ACON Community Support Network (CSN) will be heading to the Blue Mountains to conduct a series of information and training seminars in the interest of encouraging locals to come on board as carers for people with HIV.

CSN has struggled to maintain a presence in the Blue Mountains over the years, Maureen Rogers, CSN Senior Care Liaison Officer, said, but it is looking to build up the networks available for people with HIV in the area as well as encouraging locals to take on carers positions.

The first general information evening for potential carers and local service providers will be held on Friday 13 June at the Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre on New Street in Lawson.

We feel that perhaps that people are not getting the services they need in the Blue Mountains and that many might be coming to the city to get treatment, which is a bit much to ask, Rogers said.

People in the Mountains in a way become invisible. Isolation is a big problem because people living with HIV have difficulties mixing with their peers and getting the support they need. In the city it’s quite easy, people can meet with their friends at a coffee shop and discuss various treatment options, or whatever they want really. But because the Blue Mountains is such a large area it can be difficult to do that so people tend to keep to themselves.

The level of local care available is good, but CSN doesn’t have many volunteers in that area so we’re interested in getting more volunteers and upskilling other people so they can become carers for people with HIV. There’s no previous experience needed, we just want to meet people who might be interested and give them some information, Rogers said.

The seminar held on Friday 13 June will cover a broad range of topics and will mainly be held to gauge the level of interest in the area. If all goes well there will be more to follow with more specific carers training.

CSN Seminar will be held 13 June, 10am-3pm, at the Mid Mountains Community Centre, New St, Lawson. For information call Maureen on 9206 2091.

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