Hour 3: Transforming HIV and drug shame LIVE on air

Just moments after going on air, Glen Dalton’s guest Dean Camilleri revealed his HIV-positive status on his Facebook page. Dean has been living with HIV for 10 years and has experienced the profound impact of HIV stigma manifesting as internalised shame. His self-medicating via injecting drug use led to a 28-day stay in a rehabilitation clinic.

Dean’s candid talk is put into perspective by Burnet Institute researcher Dr Peter Higgs, who highlights the lasting impact of society’s negativity towards drug users. This gripping conversation unfolds amid the extraordinary responses of support and encouragement Dean receives from listeners and his Facebook friends. Courageous and inspiring, Dean is proof positive that those with troubled lives can turn things around and successfully flourish.

While Dean is to be commended and congratulated for his bravery in sharing his story on air and via Facebook, he did so with the support of his family and friends. Anyone considering coming out about their HIV status via social media must be mindful of all ramifications before placing anything in the public domain. The discrimination and stigma associated with HIV and injecting drug use remain very real today.


Dean Camilleri
Positive Speakers Bureau, Living Positive Victoria
Dr Peter Higgs
Early Career Research Fellow at Burnet Institute and National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University

Hosted by Glen Dalton

Watch the video above, or listen to the audio only below: