Home Care

One of the most distinctive forms of volunteering during the HIV and AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and early 1990s was home care. The volunteers who provided in-home care to people living with HIV and AIDS through organisations such as the Community Support Network (CSN) gave people the opportunity to stay in their own environment when so many felt scared, angry or stigmatised. They respected their dignity and their right to determine their own daily lives.

AIDS Carers Graduate, Campaign, no.127, July 1986. Image courtesy of the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives.

Many of the volunteers who provided home care emphasise how much they benefited from this type of volunteering. They built relationships with people who could feel very vulnerable and lonely, and were sometimes understandably angry and frustrated about being ill, yet they also trusted their carers and built meaningful friendships with them. Some volunteers worked with clients for very long periods of times while others had short but intense times of caring for people in their homes.

CSN Volunteers, 1992. This image displays the diversity of work volunteers, and home carers, did. Image reproduced with the permission of ACON (formerly AIDS Council of NSW).

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