Bouncing back to living life with HIV

Being diagnosed with HIV is no reason to live in a ''safe house'', says the trampolining champion Ji Wallace, who will lead a HIV-positive group along the Kokoda Track.

The silver medallist at the Sydney Olympics, who was diagnosed with HIV last year, will soon launch the Silver Lining Foundation, to help those living with the condition to stay active.

Speaking on Saturday on World AIDS Day, Wallace, 35, of Randwick, said the condition ''clouded'' the lives of many sufferers.

''I'm not a doctor so I can't help them with their medication … but I can lead by example and say, 'Hey, come with me, let's do this.' By [walking the Kokoda Track] they will … open the door to their own dreams,'' Wallace said.

The Health Minister, Jillian Skinner, on Saturday launched a new HIV strategy to drive down infection rates and improve access to treatment and testing. It includes developing after-hours and weekend testing, providing same-day results and greater use of SMS and email testing reminders.

Up to 4800 people in NSW are believed to have HIV without knowing it.

''Our focus will be on helping those people get diagnosed earlier and linking them to prevention, treatment and support services,'' Mrs Skinner said.

Wallace tested positive in Canada last year while working with Cirque du Soleil, after his then-partner was diagnosed with the virus. He returned to Australia and went public in August.

''I wasn't scared for myself … My main concern was to scream at the world to get yourself tested,'' Wallace said.

The chief executive of the AIDS Council of NSW, Nicolas Parkhill, welcomed changes to HIV testing.

Existing testing arrangements acted as a barrier ''because they're time-consuming, inconvenient and involve what can seem like a long wait when you're hanging out for results'', he said.

Dianne Nyoni, 44, of Rosebery, is a mother of four who was diagnosed with HIV last year. She welcomed simplified testing.

Ms Nyoni had developed a persistent cough, but was not diagnosed until suffering a seizure at work and undergoing a test.

Fears for her relationship with her partner, who is HIV negative, proved unfounded. ''After … support from my partner and my family I realised I had every right to be the woman I am,'' she said. ''I developed an understanding about who I was and what I want out of life.''

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