In early 2017, members of the W.A. HIV community called for a peer-led HIV representative body to be formed. Peer-led means people living with HIV doing it for themselves.
POWA was incorporated on 9 May 2017 and is led by openly HIV+ Western Australians to advance the health and quality of life for all people with HIV in WA.
POWA is recognised by HIV communities in WA as the peak representative body for people with HIV in W.A. POWA is a full member of The National Association of People with HIV Australia (NAPWHA) which is the peak national HIV organisation in Australia.
POWA’s & NAPWHA’s vision are united: A world where people with HIV live their lives to their full potential, in good health and free from discrimination.
Our Board – 2020
POWA is governed by a board of Members who follow a model set of rules . They volunteer their time and energy towards improving the lives of people with HIV in WA.
Chairperson – Cipriano Martinez
Has been living with HIV since 1993 and subsequently passionately involved in HIV advocacy and service delivery. He believes in empowering people through love. Former President of the National Association of People Living With HIV Australia (2015 -2019). Previously employed as a HIV+Peer Education and Support Officer (2001-2012) for the West Australian AIDS Council.
Deputy Chairperson – Diane Lloyd
Diagnosed with HIV since 1986, Diane has been passionately involved with several organisations. Diane currently works at Peer Based Harm Reduction WA and is a Board member of POWA and NAPWHA. As clients utilise the service she is able to educate on harm reduction and blood-borne viruses, often sharing her personal experience of living with HIV.
Diane has been open about her status since the beginning, being proactive and dedicating her time as an activist. She is open in the community and is feels fortunate to be within an understanding workplace that allows her time to attend meetings relating to HIV.
As Diane is getting older she is now experiencing the complicated issue of having more than one health issue and how to manage the complication of medications and appointments. This is now a new journey of being an older person living with HIV.
Secretary – Mark Reid
Mark Reid has been living with HIV for over 30 years and over that time has been involved in a number of national and local HIV organisations.
He was a founding member of the WA AIDS Council, Deputy Chair of NAPWHA, Deputy Chair of the AIDS Trust of Australia, a board member of AFAO, appointed member of the National Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Advisory Committee, Chair of PLWHA WA and a member of the WAAC board.
He has worked as the community centre coordinator for PLWHA WA and then worked for 25 years at the WA AIDS Council in a variety of roles including HIV peer support, advocacy and education.
Now semi retired he works with organisations and causes that drive his passion for improving the quality of life for all people.
Treasurer – Ryan Oliver
Ryan is an HIV positive kiwi living in Perth. HIV advocacy and awareness define Ryan’s involvement with in the HIV sector, as he strengthens a world where HIV is normalised and we live together without stigma or discrimination. Ryan’s goal is to provide advocacy, leadership and representation for the diverse needs of all people with HIV in this state.
As an advocate for change, Ryan seeks to provide a voice and a face of the HIV community in WA. Ryan is empowered to be seen and heard personally, professionally and publicly as an HIV positive man and feels connected to a network of positive peers that will result in a changed lived experience for people with HIV.
Ryan has publicly spoken about the changed dynamic in the current age of undetectable = uninfectious (U=U), also known as Treatment as Prevention (TasP), and PrEP.
Ryan’s HIV status does not define him but it does inspire him to be an agent of change where he strongly creates a world of equals no matter what flows through us, whether it be red, black, white, yellow, gay, straight, positive or negative.
Director – Nigel Chartres