HIV-positive immigrants need extra help, says advocate organization

A New Westminster non-profit group is spearheading a new pilot program to support HIV-positive immigrants by finding them legal and medical help along with navigating immigration and refugee claims.

Finding out you are HIV positive is devastating news for anyone, but the Lower Mainland Purpose Society says recent immigrants can struggle with the diagnosis more than others.

“When they come here, and he or she didn’t know they were HIV-positive, and now finding out … this is adding another layer of stress,” Motoi Matsukura, with the Purpose Society, told On The Coast guest host Gloria Macarenko.

“Not only their stress from the past, escaping from their own country, but this new information adding new challenges for them.”