Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy - Publisher

Award-winning blogger Bob Leahy first made his social media mark a decade ago on LiveJournal.com where there are still to this day almost 3,000 entries of his available to be read. He was a featured blogger on Ontario’s HIVStigma.com campaign, along with PositiveLite.com founder Brian Finch.  He joined PositiveLite.com at its inception in 2009 and became it's Editor a year later.

Born in the UK, Bob’s background is in corporate banking, which he gladly left in 1994, after being diagnosed with HIV the previous year.  He has chaired the board of PARN (Peterborough AIDS Resource Network) and has been an executive board member of both the Ontario HIV Treatment Network  (OHTN) and the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS).  He was inducted in to the Ontario AIDS Network’s Honour Roll in 2005.  Bob is currently a member of Ontario’s GMSH (Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance). He also writes for TheBody.com.

In 2012, Bob was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for his work and commitment to HIV/AIDS in Canada.

Bob continues to write for this site while in the Positivelite.Com editor’s seat, with a particular interest  in HIV prevention, theatre and the arts in general. He is accredited media for a number of Toronto theatres. He lives in Warkworth, Ontario with his partner of thirty-two years and three dogs.

August 2017 update: Proposed changes in viral load test reporting remain alarming

published: August, 09, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Activism, Social Media, Current Affairs, Health, Legal, Living with HIV, Media, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Community cries foul to the news that Public Health Ontario wants to send your viral load test results to your local health unit.. Bob Leahy updates the story.

August 2017 update: Proposed changes in viral load test reporting remain alarming

August 9, 2017 Update: this isn't going away. . . . Here is what we heard this week from HALCO (HIV/AIDS Legal Clinic of Ontario). By the way, don't you just love the title of the report - "Public Health Approach to Case Management" that none in our community have even seen? That's us the report is talking about - and how our viral loads are to be managed by local Public Health offices. No thanks, says PositiveLite.com. And GIPA this is not! From HALCO . .  The Ministry of Health and Long-

No ordinary affair. IAS 2017 report from Paris, Part Two: U=U makes a huge splash

published: August, 01, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Activism, International AIDS Conference , International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy with an insider’s report on how U=U made a huge impression last week in Paris - in the conference centre, on it’s main stage and in the media.

No ordinary affair. IAS 2017 report from Paris, Part Two: U=U makes a huge splash

What people said? Some said that history was made at IAS2017 in Paris last week. I’m too close to the campaign to be objective – I lead the Canadian arm of the Prevention Access Campaign's work – but certainly it was a big week. It was also one where the U=U campaign repeatedly made the news. Important things were said by important people, including by us and about us – people living with HIV. Here are some of the things people said about U=U last week “Scientists never like to

No ordinary affair. IAS 2017 report from Paris, Part One: Conference highlights

published: August, 01, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Activism, International AIDS Conference , Living with HIV, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy was in Paris last week covering the big IAS conference on HIV Science. Turns out it was the best he had been to and not just because Undetectable=Untransmittable (U=U) almost stole the show. Here is what else happened.

No ordinary affair. IAS 2017 report from Paris, Part One: Conference highlights

International AIDS Society Conferences come in two sizes. They alternate. Next year will be the big one in Amsterdam which deals with the whole panoply of HIV knowledge, including science and research and more. It will likely attract about 20,000 people. This year’s alternate year conference was just about HIV science, a smaller affair with 8,000 or so of us in attendance from 40 countries with an agenda less community-based. In other words, it was potentially a bit dull. This one certainl

Paris bound

published: July, 13, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // International AIDS Conference , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Paris bound Publisher Bob Leahy is off to Paris for IAS 2017. It’s not all fun; here’s what he is looking forward to.

Paris bound

On July 20 I will be leaving the rolling green hills of Northumberland County, a quietly rural patch of Ontario, for the great city of Paris. I am fortunate enough to be representing PositiveLite.com at the International AIDS Society Conference there. (Officially it's called the 9yj IAS Conference on HIV Science.) It will attract some 5,000 attendees. You will see it referred to everywhere as #IAS2017. It will be the fifth international AIDS Conference I’ve had the privilege of covering, p

On turning down work – and losing a writer

published: July, 11, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Social Media, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Publisher Bob Leahy says “Hopefully those familiar with PositiveLIte.com understand the place in the community we operate from – and get who we are, what we publish, what we don’t.”

On turning down work – and losing a writer

Last week, sadly, we lost a regular contributor – one whom we valued - because we rejected a post that he had submitted for publication. The subject of the post? Let’s say it could easily be interpreted to relate to a specific staff issue - a contentious employee firing, in fact - at an AIDS Service Organization in Canada. The individuals described in the piece were given fictitious names but I thought I knew who they were..It was creative non-fiction.  Immediately I saw it on the site

HIV Stigma 101

published: June, 27, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Research, Health, Living with HIV, Bob Leahy - Publisher

A new Canadian video featuring two well known poz advocates explores what HIV Stigma looks like. Produced by Universities Without Walls, the Ontario HIV Network (OHTN)

HIV Stigma 101

It’s hurtful to those of us living with HIV, it’s unfair and it contributes to the spread of HIV. These are three good reasons why we need to understand HIV stigma’s role, how we stop or at least reduce it and track our progress in doing so.  In the video below, Muluba Habanyama and Francisco Ibanez-Carrasco, both working on a current HIV stigma study, explain the basics. It’s a good primer; we all talk about stigma (a LOT) but don’t always stop to pare it down, to think about its

Another award for PositiveLite.com

published: June, 23, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Social Media, Activism, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Canada’s peer-driven HIV magazine again included in Healthline’s Best HIV/AIDS Blogs of the Year

Another award for PositiveLite.com

For the fifth year in a row, PositiveLite.com has made Healthline’s honour role of the world’s best HIV blogs. The full list appears here.  PositiveLite.com congratulates its fellow awardees.  Healthline is a social media-based giant, a provider of health information headquartered in San Francisco and helps people better understand and live with medical conditions. It is generally regarded as the number two most consulted health information resource in North America. Ironically, Posit

U=U’s Bruce Richman is speaking in Calgary

published: June, 16, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Community Events, As Prevention , Treatment, Living with HIV, Bob Leahy - Publisher

In his third visit to Canada to speak about the groundbreaking news that Undetectable =Untransmittable, Prevention Access Campaign’s Bruce Richman is in Calgary June 20

U=U’s Bruce Richman is speaking in Calgary

He’s spoken in Toronto, Montreal and Gananoque, Ontario. Now New York City’s Bruce Richman, the Executive Director of the Prevention Access Campaign, returns to Canada for two appearances at HIV Community Link (fomerly AIDS Calgary) on June 20.  Most people who have seen Richman speak – I’ve presented three times with him - would I think agree that he’s a powerful and charismatic speaker with a message that packs a big emotional wallop. Richman will be speaking first to clients at

U=U’s naysayer moments

published: June, 13, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Activism, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy says working on the U = U campaign has had its highs and lows. It’s achieved incredible success but detractors are out there also, sometimes with intelligent, thoughtful ideas, sometimes less so. This is about the less so.

U=U’s naysayer moments

Guilty as charged? The Undetecable = Untransmittable campaign has enjoyed a lot of success  – more so in fact than any campaign I've witnessed in 20 years of advocacy work. The term #uequalsu has become ubiquitous, part of the HIV lexicon, Over 270 community partners have adopted the slogan as their own in 25 countries. The number grows daily.    This is remarkable. In an age where the response to HIV has been largely taken out of the community’s hands, instead becoming institutionali

CAS hits a home run with a successful Forum

published: June, 12, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Activism, Conferences, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

The Canadian AIDS Society (CAS) Forum for people living with HIV held in Regina last week was a much needed win for an embattled national organization fighting for its very existence

CAS hits a home run with a successful Forum

View from a hotel window. "Regina might not be the most exciting city in Canada" says publisher Bob Leahy "but it played host to a solid conference that re-established CAS as a force to be reckoned with." The Canadian AIDS Society (CAS) went into last week’s national Forum for People Living with HIV needing a victory. It has had a history, after all, of meetings that left many frustrated, if not angry. As well, it is currently on what some would see as life support from the Public Health Ag

Second-time around: BareBackRT.com - the interview

published: June, 06, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Features and Interviews, Health, Sexual Health, International , Opinion Pieces, Sex and Sexuality , Bob Leahy - Publisher

Best of PositiveLite.com: then Editor Bob Leahy chats about the business with the owner of the world’s largest online hookup site for gay men who prefer not to use condoms, BareBackRT.com

Second-time around: BareBackRT.com  - the interview

This article raised some eyebrows when it was first published in PositiveLite.com in May 2014. It quickly racked up the numbers to become one of our most read articles ever. It’s rare for owners of controversial hookup sites that facilitate condomless sex to emerge from the shadows.  But the man behind BarebackRT.com approached us to talk about sexual health, condomless sex and disclosure issues. This he did with great candour. Although we only talked on the phone – he is from Tucson, Ar

It’s June 5, long term survivors day; why that matters

published: June, 05, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Activism, Aging, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy was diagnosed in 1993. Here’s why he sometimes feels left out – and why a day to honour long term survivors makes sense (although there should be more)

It’s June 5, long term survivors day; why that matters

“Let’s celebrate, honor and appreciate that they still have years to go and it is all our job to help them become the best they can be” The Long term Survivors Day website  Question: Why do we need a Long Term Survivors Day? Answer: To acknowledge people who are arguably the core of our community but who often feel left out. And yes, I’m one of them. It seems odd for me, a white privileged gay male, to express feelings of disadvantage. But increasingly it’s true. Maybe it’s a h

Forum for hope

published: June, 01, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Activism, Conferences, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

The CAS (Canadian AIDS Society) Forum for People living with HIV is In Regina, Saskatchewan next week. Bob Leahy says it's a meeting to watch for those following the course of HIV advocacy in Canada.

Forum for hope

Opportunity knocks Next week sees sixty people living with HIV from across Canada gather in Regina, Saskatchewan. It’s an annual event, usually a precursor to the CAS Annual General Meeting held immediately following it. There will be no such double-barreled affair this year, Money is tight and PHAC is no longer funding AGMs so the AGM will be held in a different (online) format at a later date.  It’s unusual for financial considerations to intrude so glaringly, but as previously report

Applying for any community scholarship? What you should know.

published: May, 24, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Activism, International AIDS Conference , Conferences, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Applying for a community scholarship? What you should know. Bob Leahy says it can be a frustrating experience which often leads to the big NO. But, he says, keep trying as persistence can pay off

 Applying for any community scholarship? What you should know.

HIV conferences are not for everyone, but they can be empowering, educational and a great way to interact with other people living with HIV. For those community members – people living with HIV – who would like to attend, though, it’s not easy. Simply put our attendance costs money – for travel and accommodation in particular. If you are not employed in the sector, and even if you are, the way to get there is usually to apply for a community scholarship which will fund your attendance

After a period of tumult, CPPN resets with a new board and big hopes for the future

published: May, 19, 2017 Categories // Social Media, Activism, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy reports: Canada’s national organization for people living with HIV, the Canadian Positive People Network (CPPN), regroups with new officers, funding on the horizon and fresh hopes

After a period of tumult, CPPN resets with a new board and big hopes for the future

Fresh start In a widely circulated press release the Canadian Positive People Network, (CPPN), today attempted to put past troubles behind them.  “The current leadership team acknowledges that the CPPN is faced with many governance and operational priorities and considers this its opportunity to realize change to further strengthen the CPPN’s foundation” it says. Those challenges include the very public resignations last month of vice–chair Gord Asmus from Ontario, founding directo

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