Meet the voices of our initiative - Our positive faces

Our positive faces are the voice of the #workingpositively initiative – the most important element of our project. It doesn’t matter whether you are affected by HIV yourself, are a sponsor or an ally. Sharing the message of #workingpositively makes our initiative alive and opens the doors for emotions. Keep on reading to get to know some of them!

Axel Wedler - Senior Manager IBM

Axel Wedler is the global project lead of #workingpositively and initiator of this initiative. He was diagnosed not just with HIV but with AIDS in 2001. It was not until 2005 that he decided to open up to IBM about his sickness. Since then, he is publicly advocating for a discrimination free environment and actively promoting an open communication culture wherever he goes.

#workingpositively addresses each employee regardless of whether they are personally affected or not.

I want to belong to the very few who dare to walk on the stage in any corner of Hungary and say: I am living with HIV. And it is absolutely okay.

Daniel Waliduda is Executive assistant Global Administration at IBM. He is from Hungary and was diagnosed with HIV in 2015. It was not until 2021 that he decided to open up to IBM about his sickness – after learning about #wp and meeting Axel Wedler. Daniel came out with his HIV status within an IBM organized event in Hungary in June 2021 – and is one of our most valuable members ever since. Outside of work he is a volunteer and advocat for HIV for the organization “Hatter Society”

Daniel Waliduda - Executive Assistant IBM

Jörg Beißel is Senior Facility Specialist at SAP Germany. He is from Germany and is open about his HIV+ status. Jörg has been a valuable member of the #workingpositively community. He shared his personal story in a powerful film that was created in cooperation with SAP.

Die Rückendeckung meiner Unternehmensführung bedeutet für mich ein proaktives Bekenntnis: Du bist genau so richtig, wie du bist – ein Mitarbeiter der die Vielfalt im Unternehmen bereichert!

Danny Barnett - VP Emerging Technology Engineering

Danny Barnett is Vice President of Emerging Technology Engineering, IBM Research. He is from the UK (but now lives in the US) and was diagnosed with HIV in 2001. Danny has been open about his HIV+ status ever since his diagnosis but found a stage with #workingpositively after reading Daniel Waliduda’s moving story.

#workingpositively is a game changer in removing stigma;removing stigma takes deliberate effort and dedication.

People like Memo actively engage to create an inclusive workplace. Watch here his personal story (German only).

“In 1988, my life was virtually over: a young doctor told me that I would be dead by 1990 at the latest, after an unpleasant illness. 1991 Freddie Mercury died, my best friend died in 2000. In 1998 I made my debut in my present professional field, and in 2010 I completed my master’s degree while working. Today, I’m still alive, healthy – and and have been working for over 17 years as a trainer and coach in the Service Center of Erste Bank and Sparkasse. I think it’s great to work in a company where not everything is perfect, but where tolerance and diversity are taken seriously and really lived. My two general managers immediately said yes when I told them about the opportunity to participate in #positivarbeiten – that alone is a fine statement.”

“We are very happy about the project #positivarbeiten,
which was launched by the AIDS-Hilfen Austria. We are very happy to support this project with our story. Discrimination unfortunately still takes place far too often. We have noticed that this often happens through ignorance. Andreas was once even called a “dangerous good” by a doctor. That isn’t neither for me as a partner, nor for our children, and certainly not for his colleagues at work.”

Andreas and Nadine

Click here to download the new positive faces brochure of the Aidshilfe Wien for further reading on #workingpositively voices.