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.

PositiveLite.com wins “Best Canadian HIV Website” award for fourth year in a row.

published: December, 05, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Activism, Social Media, Gay Men, International , Media, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Once again PositiveLite.com takes its place among the best on the continent

PositiveLite.com wins “Best Canadian HIV Website” award for fourth year in a row.

PositiveLite.com is honoured to be named “Best Canadian HIV Website” for the fourth year running. Healthline, a major US consumer health information provider with over 40 million visitors per month and offices in New York and San Francisco has included PositiveLite.com in its list of the 27 Most Influential Voices in HIV/AIDS for 2016. PositiveLite.com was the only Canadian voice to be so honoured. As the Healthline website says, “Every year, we commemorate World AIDS Day by honoring th

Mirvan Ereon - revisiting his story for World AIDS Day 2016

published: November, 30, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Gay Men, Youth, Newly Diagnosed, Living with HIV, Population Specific , Bob Leahy - Publisher

Four years ago PostiveLite.com mourned the death of its youngest writer, Mirvan Ereon, who passed away in his home country of the Philippines after a brave struggle with AIDS. Here's why it needs to be heard again

Mirvan Ereon - revisiting his story for World AIDS Day 2016

A November 2016 update from Editor Bob Leahy In August 2014 I wrote about the death of our youngest contributor, Mirvan Ereon. I never met Mirvan, although - and this speaks to the role of social media in the modern world and in the HIV community in particular - we knew each other well. For reasons I strive to understand, I have never been more moved by the death of someone with HIV than this. I still cry about it. And, be warned, you may well too. Some context: on World AIDS Day we traditi

Syndemics centre stage at OHTN Conference, (“But what are syndemics?” I hear you say)

published: November, 24, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Conferences, Events, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy was at the Ontario HIV Treatment Network Endgame conference this week where the role of inter-related factors that affect HIV transmission and treatment were the topic.

Syndemics centre stage at OHTN Conference, (“But what are syndemics?” I hear you say)

OHTN board chair Tony DiPede opening the conference Before Ron Stall, a Pittsburgh academic, promoted the term “syndemics”, it was hardly on the HIV health sector’s radar. Now it most definitely is, particularly on that of those who work in gay men’s sexual health. Its latter day influence is remarkable. Thus in 2016 we see prominent HIV conferences like this week's in Toronto, held in downtown’s venerable King Edward Hotel, entirely devoted to it.  So to backtrack, what are synde

Going on vacation

published: November, 21, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Gay Men, Travel, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Bob Leahy - Publisher

The simple act of saying that he’s going on vacation in the US raises multiple issues for Editor Bob Leahy, from guilt to politics to religion. (When did life get this complicated?) But he’s going anyway.

Going on vacation

Live oaks with Spanish moss, typical South Carolina scenery It’s odd but whenever I talk about my vacation plans I get pangs of guilt. It shouldn’t be this way, I know. Vacations, post-HIV infection and more importantly post-U.S. election, should be a break from everything that irks, not a source of irk. (Is that a word? Hang on. It’s a verb not a noun. Close enough!)  The vacation itself isn’t terribly grand or expensive. Twelve days. A two-day drive down to Hilton Head, South Caro

Addicted at work - an insider speaks

published: November, 14, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Gay Men, Mental Health, Features and Interviews, Health, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Population Specific , Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy talks in-depth to Eric Cashmore, a person living with HIV who works at a northern Ontario AIDS Service Organization about Eric’s ongoing struggle with his addictions, and about the help he receives from the workplace to deal with them

Addicted at work - an insider speaks

Bob Leahy: Thanks for talking to PositiveLite.com first of all. I really appreciate it. Now tell me why you wanted to talk to me, Eric. Eric Cashmore: This is something I had to consider very carefully Bob. Just a couple of weeks ago I had a talk with my employer where I was being very public within my office, and I realized I had started to cause distress amongst people around me talking so openly about my addiction issues and how I’m handling them and people became very worried with me. S

Canadian coalition formed to fight HIV criminalization

published: November, 08, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Current Affairs, Sexual Health, Health, Legal, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy reports on how a new player has emerged in Canada that has the potential to change the legal landscape against a background of emerging science which could strengthen their case against unjust prosecution of people living with HIV

Canadian coalition formed to fight HIV criminalization

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network announced this week that a coalition has been formed comprising community members of various backgrounds united to fight unjust criminalization of HIV non-disclosure. The issue has long been a thorn in the side of HIV advocates frustrated at the number of people living with HIV who are being prosecuted and jailed, sometimes where there was no chance of transmission taking place, for not disclosing their HIV status to their sexual partners. The Canadian justi

Thought for the day. Do HIV and aging lead to extreme crankiness?

published: November, 02, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Aging, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Thought for the day. Do HIV and aging lead to extreme crankiness? That’s one theory of our editor Bob Leahy, trying to figure out why he’s gradually becoming the proverbial cranky old man, with HIV along for the ride.

Thought for the day. Do HIV and aging lead to extreme crankiness?

Am I turning into a curmudgeon? (Dictionary definition for all those out there who don’t read: “a person, especially an old man, who is easily annoyed or angered and who often complains?)  They say our character is partly the product of our life experience, partly genetic, partly upbringing. But if you are approaching curmudgeonary (curmudgeonhood?) how much of it is shaped by HIV? Does the virus infiltrate not only our body but our minds, turning us sweet and patient things, there to gi

The Undetectable = Uninfectious doubters

published: October, 18, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Activism, As Prevention , Health, Sexual Health, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

If your virus is undetectable you can’t transmit the virus. But why do some living with HIV and their service providers struggle with that concept, or even deny its truth? Bob Leahy reports on the reasons why.

The Undetectable = Uninfectious doubters

The history I’ve spent the last couple of months arguing that undetectable equals uninfectious. Now, I shouldn’t have to argue that, because the science tell us so. The world’s leading HIV experts and savvy organizations are saying it too. Still, there is resistance to embracing this, the most significant science breakthrough since antiretrovirals hit the scene back in 1996. The power of those antiretrovirals to not only return people to good health but stop the transmission of HIV has

Advocating for a louder voice for treatment as prevention

published: October, 06, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Activism, As Prevention , Features and Interviews, Sexual Health, Health, Treatment, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy speaks to Noel Gordon Jr, a young activist who at the recent US Conference on AIDS made a plea for more attention to treatment as prevention, suggesting it’s been "left in the closet" due in part to the "sexiness" of PrEP

 Advocating for a louder voice for treatment as prevention

Bob Leahy: Hi Noel. If I can paraphrase what I hear the topic of your talk was, I think you felt that the attention being given to promotion and advocacy for PrEP is not being matched by our enthusiasm for treatment as prevention. But tell me how you came to this conclusion. Noel Gordon Jr:  Yes. I’ve been a PrEP user for the past three years and I started PrEP because as a young black gay man living in Washington D.C. which has one of the highest incidence rates of HIV in the country

Reports of cuts to funding alarm the Canadian HIV Community

published: October, 06, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Social Media, Activism, Current Affairs, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

But has the AIDS budget really been cut? And if not, who wins and who loses? Bob Leahy puts the recent announcements regarding funding of HIV and related diseases in focus

Reports of cuts to funding alarm the Canadian HIV Community

Here’s what we know Information has been drifting out in dribs and drabs all week as individual agencies received responses to their letters of intent to apply for funding under a $26.4 million fund falling under federal jurisdiction. The word was that there had been massive cuts to AiDS funding in Canada.  The reality is far more complicated. First here’s what everyone was waiting for. Last night the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), a division of Health Canada, shared this on the

From CWGHR to realize: Bob Leahy talks to Tammy Yates

published: October, 04, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Community Events, Aging, Features and Interviews, Health, Living with HIV, Bob Leahy - Publisher

When Canada’s national organization concerned with HIV and rehabilitation issues changes its name, what’s behind it? Editor Bob Leahy talks to realize (formerly CWGHR) Executive Director Tammy Yates to get the straight goods

From CWGHR to realize: Bob Leahy talks to Tammy Yates

Bob Leahy: Hi Tammy. I’m going to first ask you the obvious question: why the need for a name change from the Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation (CWGHR)? Tammy Yates: Well as you know Bob, since 1998, the organization has really been a leader and a catalyst for improved access to rehabilitation services, including mental health services, here in Canada and internationally. We have done that by bringing together research, education, policy, practice and connecting people who wo

Blind Date at Buddies: it’s love at first sight

published: September, 30, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Dating, Arts and Entertainment, Gay Men, Performances, Lifestyle, Theatre, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Sex and Sexuality , Bob Leahy - Publisher

Blind Date at Buddies: it’s love at first sight. Bob Leahy reviews Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre’s latest exploration of queer romance, a very clever and funny improv that draws the audience in quite literally

Blind Date at Buddies: it’s love at first sight

Photo Image by Tanja-Tiziana Blind Date is the first Buddies' show to feature alternating male and female leads. The gay dating version opened last night and the audience couldn’t have been more engaged in a 90-minute show that just flies by. It’s clever, funny as hell and leaves you wondering at the skill of it all. This is a show that you will talk about for a long time. Here’s the premise. The show opens with a clown, Mathieu, played winningly in the gay version by the handsome Davi

CPPN joins PositiveLite.com in endorsing Prevention Access Campaign’s Undetectable = Uninfectious message

published: September, 13, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Activism, Social Media, As Prevention , Current Affairs, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Research, International , Legal, Treatment, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy writes about the growing support in Canada for a science-based grass roots movement which has the potential to empower people living with HIV like never before, reduce stigma and contribute to the fight against criminalization

CPPN joins PositiveLite.com in endorsing Prevention Access Campaign’s Undetectable = Uninfectious message

Call it uninfectious, call it untransmittable. Bottom line is that HIV is not what it used to be. If you maintain an undetectable viral load you are not putting anyone else at risk. You cannot transmit the virus. That science-based conclusion is unusual in that its messenger is, this time, not conventionally funded AIDS organizations but those most affected - people living with HIV, like New York City’s Bruce Richman, a poz gay man whom I interviewed for PositiveLite.com here. He’s the c

Bob Leahy interviews Kevin Maloney, the man behind RiseUptoHIV

published: August, 24, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Social Media, Activism, Gay Men, Fundraisers, Features and Interviews, International , Living with HIV, Bob Leahy - Publisher

He’s shy, he’s unassuming and he’s a dynamo when it comes to HIV advocacy. Kevin Maloney talks about RiseUpToHIV, his new video campaign What’s Your Positive Message and (reluctantly) the man behind it all

Bob Leahy interviews Kevin Maloney, the man behind RiseUptoHIV

Bob Leahy: Let’s talk about the RiseUptoHIV campaign which you are well known for, particularly for your T-shirts. Kevin Maloney: Yes, it was a two-pronged campaign. The name “RiseUptoHIV” came to me in the middle of the night. I was thinking about how I was rising up to the challenges in my life at the time when I was diagnosed in 2010. The “No shame about being HIV-positive” story telling campaign started in 2013 – people would send me their stories and photos, which I would pos

Bob Leahy talks to Bruce Richman, the man behind Undetectable = Uninfectious

published: August, 10, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Activism, As Prevention , Current Affairs, Features and Interviews, Health, Treatment, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Sex and Sexuality , Bob Leahy - Publisher

Two (undetectable) poz guys, one from Canada and one from New York, talk about condomless sex, STI’s, sex negativity, HIV stigma, bad information - and the strategies behind the high profile Prevention Access Campaign

Bob Leahy talks to Bruce Richman, the man behind Undetectable = Uninfectious

(left) Bruce Richman, co-founder of Prevention Access Campaign, with longtime HIV/AIDS activist Professor Carrie Foote, Indiana University-Purdue University; Head of HIV Modernization Movement   Bob Leahy: Bruce thank you for talking to PositiveLite.com. Tell me first of all why you are driven to do this work. Bruce Richman: Well I was diagnosed with HIV in 2003 and I’ve experienced the impact of stigma and discrimination for many years and in many different ways, but not as much as othe

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