Mental Health

Len Tooley on PrEP — Part Three

published: February, 27, 2013 Written by // John McCullagh - Publisher emeritus Categories // Activism, As Prevention , Gay Men, Mental Health, Features and Interviews, Health, Sexual Health, Treatment, Population Specific , Sex and Sexuality , John McCullagh

Len Tooley is an HIV-negative gay guy who is on pre-exposure prophylaxis. In this third of three interviews with PositiveLite.com, he responds to critics of negative guys who think PrEP is right for them.

Len Tooley on PrEP — Part Three

Len Tooley is a relatively young, HIV-negative gay guy who works in downtown Toronto as a gay men’s health promoter and an HIV educator, tester and counsellor. As a way of helping him stay HIV-negative, his family doctor prescribed him Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).  In the first part of his interview with me, which we published two weeks ago, Len talked about what motivated him to go on PrEP. Last week he discussed the conversations he had with his family doctor about PrE

Len Tooley on PrEP — Part Two

published: February, 20, 2013 Written by // John McCullagh - Publisher emeritus Categories // Activism, As Prevention , Gay Men, Mental Health, Features and Interviews, Health, Sexual Health, Treatment, Population Specific , Sex and Sexuality , John McCullagh

Len Tooley, an HIV-negative guy on pre-exposure prophylaxis, works as a gay men’s health promoter, HIV educator, tester and counsellor. In this second of three interviews, he talks about conversations with his doctor about PrEP and about being on it.

Len Tooley on PrEP — Part Two

Len Tooley is a 31-year old, sexually active, HIV-negative gay guy who lives in downtown Toronto, where he works as a gay men's health promoter, HIV educator, tester and counsellor. As a way of helping him stay HIV-negative, his family doctor has prescribed him Truvada as a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).  In the first part of his interview with me, which we published last week, Len and I talked about what motivated his decision to go on PrEP. This week, he discusses the conversations h

Len Tooley on PrEP — Part One

published: February, 13, 2013 Written by // John McCullagh - Publisher emeritus Categories // Activism, As Prevention , Gay Men, Mental Health, Features and Interviews, Health, Sexual Health, Treatment, Population Specific , Sex and Sexuality , John McCullagh

Len Tooley is an HIV-negative gay guy on pre-exposure prophylaxis who works in Toronto as a gay men’s health promoter, HIV educator, tester and counsellor. In the first of three interviews about being on PrEP, he discusses his decision to go on it.

Len Tooley on PrEP — Part One

In July 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Truvada (a fixed dose combination in one tablet of emtricitabine and tenofovir) to reduce the risk of HIV infection in uninfected individuals who are at high risk of HIV infection and who may engage in sexual activity with HIV-infected partners. This use of an anti-HIV drug to prevent infection is known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).  PrEP is considered by most observers to be a major breakthrough in

HIV and Mental Health

published: January, 28, 2013 Categories // Gay Men, Mental Health, Health, Living with HIV, Population Specific

Guest writer Jack Frost in the third of a series of posts about being diagnosed with HIV. In this post he connects the dots between poor mental health and his contracting HIV

HIV and Mental Health

This article first appeared January 6, 2013 in the blog Having HIV.  Whenever I see campaigns for HIV/AIDS awareness, whether it be on television or online, they never seem to focus on mental health. They mainly focuses on prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. Don't get me wrong, it is extremely important that we educate about HIV prevention and treatment, but it seems a lot of times those messages are going unheard.  Or I see ads using scare tactics by showing how sick HIV can make someone

John McCullagh interviews Dr Sean Rourke on HIV and brain health

published: January, 16, 2013 Written by // John McCullagh - Publisher emeritus Categories // Aging, OHTN OHTN/PositiveLite.com, Conferences, Mental Health, Features and Interviews, Research, Health, Living with HIV, Ontario HIV Treatment Network, John McCullagh

How does HIV affect the brain? In the era of HAART, many symptoms are mild and difficult to pick up but this doesn’t mean that they’re unimportant. John McCullagh asked neuropsychologist Dr Sean Rourke what we should be looking out for

John McCullagh interviews Dr Sean Rourke on HIV and brain health

Over 50% of those of us living with HIV can develop cognitive impairments that will affect our attention span, learning efficiency, reasoning/problem solving, word finding and psychomotor skills. In most cases these impairments overall tend to be mild, but even at this level they can affect a person’s ability to work and to carry out day-to-day activities and can lead to difficulties in social situations.  To improve brain health and quality of life for people living with HIV, we need bett

HIV, hepatitis C and memory issues

published: January, 05, 2013 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Hep B and C, Mental Health, Research, Health, Revolving Door, Living with HIV, Guest Authors

Co-infection with hepatitis C is associated with memory problems in people living with HIV, according to new US research, says aidsmap

HIV, hepatitis C and memory issues

This article by Michael Carter first appeared on aidsmap.com here.  Co-infection with HIV and hepatitis C is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment, according to research published in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. Investigators from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs compared cognitive function between co-infected men, hepatitis C mono-infected men, HIV mono-infected men and a control group. Co-infection was assoc

Training your Brain

published: November, 17, 2012 Written by // CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource Categories // General Health, Mental Health, Research, Health, CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource, Living with HIV

Pilot study of brain training exercises—produces promising but limited results, CATIE reports

Training your Brain

This article first appeared on the CATIE website here. Une version française est disponible ici.  The widespread availability of potent combination therapy (commonly called ART or HAART) for HIV has led to greatly improved health and survival for HIV-positive people in Canada and other high-income countries who can adhere to therapy. Although ART has many benefits, it does not entirely suppress the inflammation that is incited by chronic HIV infection. Researchers are concerned that prol

The good boss

published: November, 14, 2012 Categories // Mental Health, Health

Christopher Banks isn’t HIV-positive but he does have bipolar disorder and requires what we call “accommodation” at work for his mental health issues. If you’re HIV-positive and working, you might like this story.

Having been in employment situations before where my mental illness has been used against me, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned about how I might be treated in a new job in a strange land.  We’ve recently been through a period of intense work for a very small team, and in the middle of this period my aunt was dying of cancer back in New Zealand. When I returned from the funeral last week, my coping skills were getting pretty low.  Management at my workplace are aware of my me

Webinar: HIV and mental health: New thinking, new strategies

published: November, 05, 2012 Categories // Community Events, Events, Mental Health, Health, Research, Events, Revolving Door, Treatment, Living with HIV, Guest Authors

ACT’s third Community Health Forum in the current series is on new thinking and strategies with regard to HIV and mental health. Attendance is free. The forum will also be available as a webinar.

Webinar: HIV and mental health: New thinking, new strategies

The third workshop in the current series of free open discussion forums for people living with HIV hosted by the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) will be held on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 7:00 pm at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, 300 Jarvis Street in Toronto.  The topic this month is HIV and mental health: New thinking, new strategies. Topics to be discussed at this forum include:  Mental illness is common in HIV, whether present before infection or as a complication of living with HIV Op

A Mind of Her Own

published: October, 18, 2012 Written by // CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource Categories // CATIE, Mental Health, Health, CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource, Living with HIV

Long-term survivor Maggie Atkinson adds cognitive problems to her list of HIV-related issues. Here she takes a walk down memory lane and shares what she’s learned about protecting her brain.

A Mind of Her Own

This article first appeared in The Positive Side, a publication of CATIE. Une version française est disponible ici.  I FIRST NOTICED a slight reduction in my ability to think clearly in 1993, when my CD4+ cell count fell below 200. I just didn’t feel as sharp. A year later, when I got PCP, the life-threatening pneumonia that is a hallmark of AIDS, my handwriting deteriorated so much that I had to concentrate to write legibly. About five years ago, I started having trouble remembering n

Shane’s 40-year journey to self-acceptance

published: October, 08, 2012 Categories // Mental Health, Health

Beyond Blue: Christopher Banks introduces the campaign designed to address depression and mental health issues in the LGBT community.

Shane is a handsome, articulate 41-year-old gay man who looks confident in himself and seems to have his life in order.  It wasn’t until appearing in Beyond Blue’s new campaign to raise awareness about depression in LGBT communities that he actually began to believe that himself. In the video of his personal story, he mentions that it was only twelve months ago that he truly began to like himself – that’s the corrosive effect that depression and anxiety has had on his life, beginnin

How to live well with HIV

published: September, 04, 2012 Written by // John McCullagh - Publisher emeritus Categories // Community Events, As Prevention , General Health, Events, Features and Interviews, Mental Health, Health, Research, Treatment, Living with HIV, John McCullagh

John McCullagh talks with Robin Rhodes of ACT about his agency’s monthly educational workshops for people living with HIV - workshops that are now webcast across Canada and around the world.

How to live well with HIV

For those of us who work or volunteer in the HIV sector, there are often opportunities to attend workshops and conferences about new developments in HIV prevention and treatment and, for those of us living with HIV, on managing our heath in all of its dimensions - physical, emotional and spiritual. For most other HIVers though, such opportunities are not as readily available, due to cost, time, location or inclination. This is where the Community Health Forums put on by the AIDS Committee of

Inner well being and the importance of a smile.

published: August, 06, 2012 Categories // Mental Health, Health, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces

Nathaniel Casco puts on his inner smiley face for his take on what we need to do to improve our health and wellness.

Inner well being.  What does it mean? Where does it come from? Who invented this phrase? I have been doing a fair amount of reading about healthy habits and inner well being. I have been focusing on HIV but noticing more and more that it’s the same, whether you are HIV+ or not. Everywhere I look I read and see the same lines about keeping well. Eat smarter. Eat healthy. Get fit. Exercise more. Stay fit. Take vitamins. Drink supplements. Drink more water. Drink less alcohol. Don't do recre

I have a secret

published: July, 12, 2012 Categories // Mental Health, Health, Living with HIV

Stuffed animals are just the start. MT O’Shaughnessy on his own private coping mechanism.

I was stretched out on a table, getting a tattoo, swimming in sweat.  I ended up becoming so intensely wrapped up in the pain that I remember thinking how much I was going to love not being there.  Then in one of those moments of accidental discovery that ends up resonating for the rest of your life, my hand happened to hit my hip on the opposite side of my body.  Brush up against it.  From the smallest gesture, an unintentional flick of muscle as I tried not to move around, I made contac

TowelTalk: Inside Toronto’s Bathhouses

published: June, 05, 2012 Written by // John McCullagh - Publisher emeritus Categories // Gay Men, Features and Interviews, Mental Health, Health, Sexual Health, Population Specific , Sex and Sexuality , John McCullagh

John McCullagh talks with Marco Posadas about TowelTalk, a bathhouse counselling program that seeks to address the psychosocial issues that have an impact on HIV risk for gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men.

TowelTalk: Inside Toronto’s Bathhouses

For many years, outreach workers and volunteers from community-based organizations have worked with bathhouses to provide HIV and STI awareness, prevention and education services to bathhouse patrons. ACT, a Toronto ASO, has augmented these sexual health promotion activities through TowelTalk. This innovative program offers brief, walk-in counselling sessions in the bathhouse by professionally trained counsellors. The objective is to address the psychosocial issues that can have an i

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