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Social and Community Support

Karumah / Social and Community Support

Karumah provides Social and Community Support to People Living With HIV and their support networks in the Hunter-New England region of NSW.

We facilitate and support HIV community development, peer support and leadership, and regular social events to help build connections and reduce social isolation.

For further information on Social & Community Support at Karumah, please email peersupport@karumah.org.au

HIV Community Development

Karumah aims to build local capacity to support and improve the quality of life for people living with HIV. The key areas of focus for our HIV community development are community education and training.

We conduct event-based and site-based outreach among diverse communities of people living with HIV, people who are part of their support networks, or work with people living with HIV. 

This outreach aims to engage with people with lived experience to identify needs, trends, concerns, and directions for Karumah services and programs, through a community-development approach.

Peer Support and Leadership

Karumah staff collaborate with both internal and external stakeholders to develop effective programming and services and coordinated approaches that reduce or eliminate barriers people living with HIV face in relation to service access, streamlining, or coordination.

Staff work with Karumah’s service user peer leadership group and other community members to provide workshops, presentations, and information related to living with HIV and supporting those people who care for others living with HIV.

Karumah’s outreach initiatives keep service users and the wider community abreast of developments in HIV treatments, sexual health, and harm reduction, among other themes to build knowledge and to engage, support, and strive to empower people living with HIV.

HIV Community Development

Karumah coordinates a range of events and social gatherings and actively encourages and facilitates participation in such activities. 

Events and gatherings respond to identified needs of service users and their networks and a generally held fortnightly. They range from meeting up at a local pub for lunch to having a picnic in the park. 

When gatherings of people are restricted for any reason, such as during the recent COVID19 restrictions in NSW that were in place in 2020, Karumah was proactive in heading off social isolation and moved the social events online.

Karumah staff provided the necessary training to service users, and also provided one-on-one assistance where needed, in using the online meeting platforms. This meant that all service users could maintain connected to the Karumah community and continue to engage with the social events and gatherings.