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Our history - from 1987 until today

Join us on a trip down memory lane

1987-1988 protokoll
1987
The buddygroup Positiva Gruppen Syd is established
During the autumn of 1987 the organization Noaks Arks Malmöhus arranged the first meet up for people living with hiv in Malmö. A group of 10 people shows up and the participants instantly finds commonality, despite the grim prospects of living with hiv at the time. As the weekly meet ups continues, someone eventually starts to cook food and other activities are being planned - the buddy group Positiva Gruppen Syd is born. (Photo: From Noaks Ark Malmöhus board minutes in late 1987 and the first mention of Positiva Gruppen Syd)
1987
Tidningsurklipp hiv
1989
The old maids room at Södergatan
In february 1989 Noaks Ark Malmöhus moved to a new location and Positiva Gruppen Syd, or "PG" as it was most often referred to, followed suit. The new office and meeting space was a big top floor apartment with four rooms only a few hundred meters away. Malmö Hospital was kind enough to donate furniture, and both the apartment and the furniture were refurbished. PG was given their own space, the old maids room, which became the new meeting place for the group. PG moved floors and units many times in the very same house, but stayed at Södergatan for almost 20 years. (Photo: Quote from a newspaper in the late 80´s, from one of the first 10 members)
1989
1990
Forming our own association
Up until this point PG had been a part of Noaks Ark Malmöhus, but the group now forms a separate association. Thus, Positiva Gruppen Syd is registered as an association, by people with hiv, for people with hiv. The newly formed association moves from the old maids room on the fourth floor, to a new space on the third floor in the same building. Dinners, excursions, theater visits and exhibitions are some of the activities being added as the organization grows. Thursday nights are at this time open until 22. (Photo: Newsletter circa 1990)
1990
1991
"..deliberate and systematic spread of hiv"
An excerpt from the very first newsletter called PG-Nytt first published in 1991. A complaint was filed to the Aids-delegation, a now defunct part of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. The complaint claimed the board and several members of PG were unruly people spreading hiv. The complaint didn't go further than reaching the press, which was bad enough, creating publicity further stigmatizing and marginalizing people with hiv. (Photo: Front and logo from the first PG-Nytt newsletter, 1991)
1991
1994
Camraderie, nordic exchange and the long wait for a treatment
The 90´s were when the Nordic countries started to come together for exchange and dialogue in regards to hiv. Nord-all started already in 1989 and became a platform for both ideas and socializing among peers. Being a member of what is now Hiv-Sweden, Positiva Gruppen Syd was represented by a few members at the annual Nord-all meetings and in 1994 even got the honor to host the annual meeting. 170 participants gathered at Ystad Saltsjöbad for a much appreciated and successful meeting. Overall during these years the activities were plentiful. Dinners, hikes, wine tasting and even classic car shows were visited as a part of the social activites offered by the association. A treatment for hiv was nonetheless nowhere to be found. Despite this, members took their chances with whatever they got their hands on. A few members were able to import and try DNCB, a chemical used in color photography, needless to say, that didn't stop the virus. The vitamin Q10 was also frequently tried and tested, with the same disappointing outcome. (Photo: Newsletter from 1995)
1994
1995
Peos legacy
Peo, or Per-Olof Persson, was chairman for Positiva Gruppen Syd 1989 - 1993. Through his personality and hard work, Peo made a great impact on both the association and the people he met. He has been described as both caring and ambitious, and became dedicated to raise awareness about hiv and improve the lives of people with hiv. Peo started out as a substitute on Noaks Ark Malmöhus board before he took on the role as chairman for the newly formed Positiva Gruppen Syd in 1989. He also had an active role in what was to become Hiv-Sweden, a national hiv-organization. Peo died in 1995, only 33 years old. In his memory, a stipend was established, which still today is being awarded to someone who acts in the spirit of Peo. (Photo: Peo, year unknown)
1995
1997
10 years with Positiva Gruppen Syd
Positiva Gruppen Syd celebrated 10 years at the World Aids Day in 1997. With an open house at Södergatan, the association offered a festive mood and international buffet coupled with speeches and of course the annual award for Peos Stipend. An small exhibition of the the years 1987 - 1997 was also on display. A few months before the celebration took place, a competition was announced for a new logo. The logo can be seen at the bottom of this page among the photos. (Photo: Pg-Nytt, August 1997)
1997
2001
A women only peer-group is formed
In an attempt to accommodate women and offer a space for women with hiv to meet, an initiative was taken to start a women only peer-group. Women had already been a part of the association but since men formed and were in large majority, there was a need to create space for women. The women's group didn't evolve into a new association, like PG did, but the association were diversified and evolved into a more versatile organization. (Photo: Pg-Nytt, july 2001)
2001
2002
New logo
Five years after the competition, the 1997 logo was put to rest. The new logo which were to represent Positiva Gruppen Syd for almost fifteen years was based on an anchor. PG-Väst, the hiv organization in Gothenburg, had a logo with a lighthouse, maybe this served as an inspiration? (Photo: Logo, 2002)
2002
Karta over Barkgatan
2006
Finding a new home at Barkgatan
Everything comes to end, so did the tenure at Södergatan. After 20 years it was time to move. The rent had gone up and the mid 00´s were a tough time for PG. The association needed to find a new way forward at the new home at Barkgatan. (Photo: Newsletter from 2006)
2006
2008
Mexico, Norway and new members
In the years following the move to Barkgatan, a priority was put on reaching out people living with hiv and recruiting new members. It was a tough task, 10 years after the advent of antiviral treatment hiv was no longer as threatening and newsworthy as before. In short hiv was becoming barely noteworthy for the public. During this time the association worked with limited funds and only a part time employee to increase visibility. Despite the uphill battle there were highlights, the visit to Norway, the AIDS-conference in Mexico and the grit and passion among the board to keep fighting.
2008
2012
25 years with Positiva Gruppen Syd
On the 26th of October at the prominent Malmö Rådhus, Positiva Gruppen Syd reunited with Noaks Ark Malmöhus (or Noaks Ark Skåne which since 2007 was the groups new name) to celebrate 25 years of cooperation and 30 years with hiv. Exhibitions, talks, workshops and other activities kept the attendees busy for the whole day. The chairman of the municipality, Lena Jarnbring Lindholm, as a host also welcomed everyone with a drink. The celebration was topped of with a dinner accompanied with song and dance shows. For many the celebration became a get together and reminiscence from the past.
2012
2015
A reborn association
Around 2015 Positiva Gruppen Syd enters a phase of renewal. Young people enters the board and join as new members. The combination of experienced older members and the newly added youthful enthusiasm leads to regained energy. In collaboration with other organizations several projects are rolled out. Together with Hiv-Sweden an initiative for young people with hiv is launched, and a collaboration with Noaks Ark Skåne results in the campaign Vågar du ligga? (Dare to do it?) (Photo: Postcard from the campaign #vagarduligga)
2015
Today
An association for people living with hiv in 2020
Both hiv and Positiva Gruppen Syd has gone through changes since 1987. At the same time, much remains the same. Just like the anchor in the logo from the early 00´s, Positiva Gruppen Syd still represents a place where people living with hiv can find comfort and non-judgemental understanding. To show the public that there are people living with the virus, combating dehumanization and stigma is something that also has stayed the same. As long as the stigma still persists, shame is associated with hiv and people living with hiv have a a need for a space to meet each other as peers - Positiva Gruppen Syd will still be around, in one way or another.
Today

Older photos