Until March 2011, Positive Living BC was known as the BC Persons With AIDS Society (BCPWA). To coincide with the Society’s 25th anniversary and the change of name, a group of volunteers created an archive for the organization and recorded a history of HIV/AIDS locally. Some of the results of their work appear here. To learn about our history, you can also choose one of the documents below:

If you have stories about Positive Living BC’s history you would like to share, or items you would like to donate, please contact us or consider sitting on our History Alive committee.

Video archive

Below you will find Positive Living BC’s video archive, which is maintained by History Alive.

Living with AIDS

Living with AIDS: 1986 – Kevin Brown (BCPWA) talks with Laurrier LaPierre about what it is like to live as a person with AIDS in BC, at a time when medications for the condition were not legally available and there was no viral testing laboratory.

Digi Quilt

Digi Quilt: 1989 – “We had to do it ourselves. What we discovered along the way was that it gave us a tremendous sense of empowerment.” Kevin Brown describes the founding of BCPWA.


WALK for LIFE: To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the WALK for LIFE, we are posting historical footage from the WALK. Watch the videos below by clicking on the WALK for LIFE videos below.

WALK for LIFE 1993
WALK for LIFE 1997
WALK for LIFE 1998
WALK for LIFE 2000
WALK for LIFE 2001
WALK for LIFE 2008

A Stretch of Time

A Stretch of Time – Two men discuss what it is like to live with HIV/AIDS in Vancouver in 1995, and their experiences of fear, hope, sadness and resolve. A Vancouver Film School production.

Tyabji Show

Tyabji Show: 1997 – Judy Tyabji and a panel of guests (Tom McAulay, BCPWA; Eric Ages, AIDS Vancouver Island; Jen Horgos, YouthCO) discuss HIV/AIDS, AIDS Walk 1997, and the the state of emergency declared by the Vancouver/Richmond Health Board in the Downtown Eastside, due to the high level of HIV transmission among injection drug users.

End HIV Stigma

End HIV Stigma: 2006 – BCPWA produced a series of radio and TV ads to address HIV stigma and discrimination. The ads ran province-wide and were made possible with funding from the BC Association of Broadcasters. “This campaign highlights the impact of living in a culture that appears polite and accepting on the surface, but still harbours deep rooted prejudices that are expressed in subtler ways,” said Paul Lewand, 2006 Society Board Chair.