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Mz. B on Positive People getting Positive Paid Work in Vancouver

Below is the video transcription of the conversation between  Mz. B and April Smith

Mz. B: Positive Paid work .. The first thing that is so good about the program is that it is positive and this is what is necessary to give hope and meaning to somebody who is willing to change their lives, through this program

I enjoy the whole process.. the whole key is that you enjoy your work and that you are giving back into the system what the system is giving you

And work is a labour of love… you should love what you are doing…and you know you are helping other people, then you are making a difference

April: Absolutely, for sure!

Mz. B: Yes, I think it gives self esteem, it leads to a much more fulfilling life, just like my own.. this is where my foundation, my basis lies.. I am a christian, a gay christian woman and I have hopes, and I have dreams. It’s one of my fondest dreams of my life is to be a priestess

Dan Wilson on Positive People getting Positive Paid Work in Vancouver

Below is the video transcription of the conversation between  Dan Wilson and April Smith

Dan: I think most agencies are keeping the person really self.. really dependent  on the agency..they don’t give a person a chance to become self sufficient and to  get out of the system and most will find you housing, find you temporary
solutions but it’s not allowing that person to get on their feet again.I think with our employment agency, it could be a step in helping someone because self sufficient and let them do their own thing.

April: So you truly believe in positive paid work then?

Dan: Totally Positive Paid Work! For the opportunity to get your life back together!

John Blaze on Positive People getting Positive Paid Work in Vancouver

Below is the video transcription of the conversation between John Blaze and April Smith

John: I think it’s really important to give self confidence to people who might not have it as easy… who sort of feel left out..to kind of incorporate them into normal life to give them the good feeling of having paid work

April: Absolutely! Positive Paid Work for the people!

John: Yeah! Being Positive means being positive!

Rebeccah Parry on Positive People getting Positive Paid Work in Vancouver

Below is the video transcription of the conversation between Rebeccah Parry and April Smith
REBECCAH: As an HIV positive person, there are limited resources for employment… I mean I am trained to do one thing and we have to take our health into consideration.. there’s not a lot of choices out there and it’s not a very friendly environment for people who are HIV positive because not everyone is going to be understanding if you have a down day or a bad day..

Yeah, without disclosing your status when you talk to employers about your health issues.. so yeah… I need a Job! <chuckle>  I need to find work!

APRIL: and Paid work too!!
REBECCAH: And Paid work too exactly!  I mean there are tons of opportunities for me to volunteer my time, and I do have a lot of skills as a support worker but I think the market is saturated with people with BAs and the MAs, not a lot of opportunities for people who know what it’s like to live with HIV to get an actual job, a good paying job within the community

Josh Paquette on Positive People getting Positive Paid Work in Vancouver

 Below is the video transcription of the conversation between Josh Paquette and April Smith

JOSH: For HIV, there is a lot of segregation in the employment industry for HIV positive people. They might not understand that you might have days that you are really really sick and you can’t take off a week from work without getting a talking to or getting fired! There are a lot of employers who will have no education about HIV and they have a lot of stigma around it.. like it’s’ the gay disease or it’s for really poor people! They might not hire HIV positive people becuse well they might have stigma around.. well you’re gay so you can’t work with us…

You know it’s really important for HIV positive people to find work, they’re just like us! They’re normal people.. they just have a health condition that’s clearly not understood.. They might NEED to take off a week because they’re really sick.. they need to take antibiotics because their immune system is weak and employers just don’t understand that!

APRIL:  I hear you and we All need Positive Paid Work!

JOSH:  We do! and we need more.. especially employers need to get more education about HIV, so then you know, they will understand someone’s situation who .. you know.. “I need to take a week off because I’m feeling really really sick!”

Val Nicholson on Positive People getting Positve Paid Work in Vancouver

Below is the video transcription of the conversation between Val Nicholson and April Smith

VALERIE: My name is Valerie Nicholson and I have been asked to comment on…

APRIL: You been asked to comment on as to why you think Positive People should get Positive Paid Work!

VALERIE: First of all, there is so much work done on HIV and most of them don’t have HIV, so comes the old saying.. “Without us, there’s nothing! So why do all these people get all the work, when we are the work?

And we have more information than anyone else, we walk the walk, and we talk the talk

And for someone in a higher position to do studies without us, you’re not getting anything… so why aren’t we paid for it?  We have the knowledge and we have to fight for this and I have been fighting… I’m now a peer researcher getting paid contract work through AIDS Vancouver, I’ve got a nutritional outreach job… I don’t know if I got it because I have HIV or not but I am promoting it. I’m traveling now, I’ve gone to Houston.. speaking at conferences promoting that. Peer research is ground breaking stuff and without us, there is nothing!

And we’re getting the true results – talking peer to peer, we’re getting the real stories! Whereas if you’re talking to someone with authority, they’re not going to tell you the truth! And a lot of my people that I’ve talked to said the same thing…”I Lie to them! They’re a person of authority.. I don’t want them to know! But Valerie, you’re doing the survey, you’re researching us…I am truthful! Because you’re one of us! And that is the big thing, One of us!

APRIL: I totally agree with you! So what do you think about getting fair pay for what you do? Instead of getting, here’s something, here’s something.. here’s something…

VALERIE:  I hate this token! That we are used!! As a token! And we are used as an example! “Here’s the token HIV person!” Here’s 5 bucks and stand in front of a camera! UH-UH!!! I am worth every amount of money or anything else as anyone else in this world and equal!! I should not be a token!

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