Positive Living Community has been active for over 20 years. We started in the wake of the emergence of HIV/AIDS in the country, in response to the plight of men who were discriminated by society, and left to fend for themselves on the streets and alleyways of the red-light districts of Kuala Lumpur. The condition of these men was harrowing. Sometimes, they had been prematurely discharged from the prison or drug rehabilitation centres because the wardens feared to handle those with HIV and there was no provision for this new development.
Given the circumstances they were forced into, most of them continued to abuse drugs. This took a heavy toll on them as they were often already in an advanced stage of AIDS and without any medical attention or assistance, they were just dying in the streets. There wasn’t a single shelter for homeless people with AIDS. In 1997, the Positive Living Community, then known as the ‘Welcome Community Home’, was the first to establish a shelter, from the ruins of a dilapidated poultry farm in Batu Arang. Alex Arokiam, who is the co-founder of Welcome Community Home, and subsequently Positive Living Community, teamed up with Anthony Rogers Fsc, director of the National Office for Human Development to make this project a reality.
Below is a brief history of our over 20 years of existence, under various entities: