Mental Health

Confronting stigma

published: September, 04, 2013 Written by // John McCullagh - Publisher emeritus Categories // Mental Health, Features and Interviews, Health, Living with HIV, John McCullagh

Toronto’s McEwan Housing and Support Services recently produced a set of videos on the effects of stigma with the clear refrain: “It hurts”.

Confronting stigma

McEwan House is a Toronto program of Loft Community Services that is specifically designed to meet the needs of HIV-positive people from a variety of backgrounds who have a number of challenges that can include mental health issues, addictions and being homeless. It provides housing and support services in an effort to help their service users remain independent in the community.  They recently produced a set of videos on the effects of stigma with the clear refrain: “It hurts”. Several

The diminished self – HIV and self-stigma

published: August, 19, 2013 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Mental Health, Research, Health, Revolving Door, Living with HIV, Guest Authors

From aidsmap, Gus Cairns investigates the negative beliefs people with HIV can have about themselves, and what to do about them.

The diminished self – HIV and self-stigma

 This article originally appeared on aidsmap.com here. Let’s suppose you’re part of a community where HIV is common, but you hold negative views about people who have the virus: because of fear, or ignorance or a generally conservative viewpoint. You might say things like “Most people with HIV get it from being weak and foolish” (22%); “You can’t trust people like that” (24%); “They should feel guilty for what they’ve done, really” (36%). Secretly, you fear HIV and are

Our Agenda - a new type of campaign

published: July, 22, 2013 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Gay Men, Mental Health, Features and Interviews, Health, Sexual Health, Population Specific , Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy talks to ACT’s John Maxwell from Ontario’s GMSH (Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance) about an innovative new campaign which explores the connections between gay men’s emotional, mental and sexual health

Our Agenda  - a new type of campaign

The Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance (GMSH) is a network of front-line workers, HIV researchers, public health, policy makers and community members responding to gay men’s sexual health in Ontario. The GMSH works to establish long-term, goal-oriented, evidence-based strategies, tools, policies and programs that will effectively assist all of us, committed to ensuring that gay and bisexual men in our communities enjoy healthy, full sexual and emotional lives. John Maxwell is Director of Pr

Beautiful goodbye

published: June, 07, 2013 Categories // Gay Men, Mental Health, Health, Living with HIV, Population Specific

Jack Frost finds special meaning in an Amanda Marshall song that speaks to him about his journey before and after HIV.

“In these days of no regrets I keep mine to myself And all the things we never said I can say for someone else And nothing lasts forever but we always try And I just can't help but wonder why We let it pass us by”  Beautiful Goodbye by Amanda Marshall, - such an amazing song. The lyrics, the music, it sends shivers down my spine.  My friends don’t understand my love for Amanda Marshall. They always laugh at me when one of her songs comes on my iPhone and I get uber-excited. She

When is it “too much:” do gays have a problem with unpleasant facts?

published: May, 08, 2013 Categories // Gay Men, Mental Health, Health, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific

Josh Kruger looks at depression – his own - and how mental health issues play out in the LGBT community.

A decade ago, Dr. Susan Cochran at UCLA’s School of Public Health published  findings from a comprehensive study conducted on the mental health of gays and lesbians. In the November 2002 issue of American Psychologist, Cochran’s conclusions on depression were depressing themselves: gay and lesbian youth suffer from higher rates of substance misuse than their heterosexual peers; LGBT folks need to utilize mental health professionals more than heterosexuals; and, gay men seem to experience

The other side of love (Part one)

published: May, 02, 2013 Categories // Dating, Gay Men, Youth, Mental Health, Health, Lifestyle, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific

Dave R writes...one of the remaining, unspoken taboos in LGBT society is same sex abuse. Up to one in three LGBT people may be living in fear of their partner and can’t see a way out! I know what that’s like; I went through it myself.

The other side of love (Part one)

“That over one-third of LGBT people have been subjected to violence from an intimate partner is evidence of the brutality we can inflect upon one another, even those whom we claim to love.”  David Phillips  The quote above from David Phillips, was a comment on an earlier post of mine. At the time I thought, ‘Damn, he’s right. I should have mentioned that side of it in the article.’ Then a couple of days later it hit me that by saying that, he had inadvertently reopened a chapter

Please don’t stop the music

published: March, 12, 2013 Written by // Daniel Uy Categories // Dating, Gay Men, Mental Health, Health, Sexual Health, Lifestyle, Population Specific , Daniel Uy

Daneil Uy once tried to be straight. But no matter how hard you try, he says, the gay has a way of coming out. He hasn’t looked back.

Please don’t stop the music

Several years ago, when beginning to change and alter my health for the better, I started to question all the things in my life.  Since there was very little going for me, and I wasn't exactly the best catch in the world as a person on many levels, it wasn't too hard to make a decision to remain celibate for a time.  Health - both mental and physical  - was under siege and so they were my priorities.  Over time though, I had been absent not only from dating, but gay life in general. Since

I am thin and gorgeous, self-loathing, bulimic, and gay

published: March, 06, 2013 Categories // Gay Men, Food, Nutrition and Recipes, Mental Health, Fitness and Exercise, Health, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific

Fear and (self) loathing in the bid to rid ourselves of fat. Formerly fat person Josh Kruger weighs in

 I am thin and gorgeous, self-loathing, bulimic, and gay

“Gay and bisexual men have a higher prevalence than heterosexual men [toward eating disorders],” writes Dr. Kathryn Zerbe, an expert on eating disorders and professor at the Oregon Health and Science University, in the New York Times’ Consults health blog.  Going further, Zerbe explains, “Gay men do appear to have more eating disorders than straight men, [but] these men do not necessarily want to be feminine.  Nor do they seem to have trouble with their masculine role, as the

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

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