Opinion Pieces

True Confessions

published: February, 18, 2011 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy says "Father forgive me for I know not what I do: I bought the iPhone Confessions app this week – and I feel dirty."

True Confessions

It cost me $1.99, and it’s a rip, but in the interests of research, I needed to see for myself what happens when iPhone technology and bad religion collide. Now I’m not sure where the money goes – hopefully NOT to the Catholic Church - but I’m regretting it already. I just couldn’t resist the description of this app,though, full title: Confession - A Roman Catholic app.  Here’s what the app descriptions says (and I'm not making this up): “Designed to be used in the confessio

Taking the AIDS out of HIV? Is it time? Reflections on an Xtra.ca article

published: February, 04, 2011 Written by // Brian Finch - Founder Categories // Opinion Pieces, Brian Finch

The Xtra byline “AIDS groups remove 'AIDS' from their names HIV/AIDS / Distancing themselves from the stigma.” says it all.

Taking the AIDS out of HIV? Is it time? Reflections on an Xtra.ca article

Thanks to fellow  blogger Bob Leahy, this hot topic came my way, which I thought was perfect for a discussion here. What's this about? The Xtra byline “AIDS groups remove 'AIDS' from their names HIV/AIDS: Distancing themselves from the stigma.” says it all. There has been a trend for a little while now towards reassessing the use of "AIDS" in the names of AIDS service organizations. The rational, stated in the by-line, is that stigma drives away potential clients/consumer or what

Confessions from a Political Junkie

published: January, 28, 2011 Written by // Brian Finch - Founder Categories // Opinion Pieces, Brian Finch

The National Post telemarketer called me and asked why I wasn’t interested in a subscription. “It’s too right-wing for my taste” and I never heard from them again.

Politics is sport. It requires skill, strategy, and is a blood sport. I haven't run for public office, but I sure as hell can scream at the TV from my armchair.  I’m concerned about my sport. It’s descending down the same road as the American discourse. Personal and petty attack ads and lying to the public (what’s new?) and getting worse  - and the bar is being set very low. That’s what we get with a party that takes bad political practices of the past to an entirely new leve

Social Media in the Backwoods and Beyond

published: January, 28, 2011 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy says “I was going to write about blogging in the context of the HIV community and PositiveLite’s greatest hits, but then I got sidetracked.”

Social Media in the Backwoods and Beyond

There I was sitting in my living room, a plate of chicken curry, naan and samosas on my lap and Jeopardy on the TV. But was I paying attention to them?   Not a chance.  Instead, I was glued to my iPhone where there was livestreaming video of the hugely contentious Pride Toronto AGM that was taking place last night. Nonstop streaming Twitter coverage too. And not only was the meeting amazing entertainment, witnessing the perfect storm of a shipwrecked board of directors

Get your HANDS off me!!!

published: January, 26, 2011 Written by // Brian Finch - Founder Categories // Opinion Pieces

Last week I had a major attack of HANDS! Not in the classic sense, and by that I mean the backroom of a German gay bar, more in the sense of a stupid moment screwing up my meds in my last post.

Video: Jewel "Hands" Last week I had a major attack of HANDS! Not in the classic sense, and by that I mean the backroom of a German gay bar, more in the sense of a stupid moment screwing up my meds in my last post. Up until the OHTN Research Conference I had never heard of Hands.  While interviewing Stephanie Nixon, howevere, I heard her say HANDS, aka the Poz Brain she referred to in common parlance. This was news to me, but good news in a strange way. Let’s start with the ba

My Muscles, My Disease: Portrait of a Gay Drug Addict

published: January, 25, 2011 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Mental Health, Health, Opinion Pieces, Mark S. King

"It wouldn’t be long before my drug use trumped my gym schedule, and my status in online chat rooms devolved from intriguing hottie to that crazy mess that doesn’t look like his pictures."

My Muscles, My Disease: Portrait of a Gay Drug Addict

There is a folder, tucked within a folder, buried deep in my computer files. I shouldn’t be looking at its contents, yet I can’t bring myself to delete it altogether. It is labeled MARCUS, and inside the folder is my disease. During my years of crystal meth addiction I went by the name of Marcus, at least to dealers and tricks and fellow addicts. It helped me determine who was calling my cell phone – those calling for Mark or Marcus usually had very different agendas – and Marcus even

What's real and what's not; undetectable viral load, condoms and the risk of transmission

published: January, 24, 2011 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

In which Bob Leahy ruminates on the condoms vs undetactable viral load debate – which is safer? - begun by Mark S. King and Sean Strub on this site last week

What's real and what's not; undetectable viral load, condoms and the risk of transmission

It’s been swirling around inside my head for a few days now, that video, so intriguing are the isssues raised. I’m talking about what Mark S, King and Sean Strub said in last week’s post : Five Things about HIV (They’re Not Telling You).  Here’s an excerpt from their conversation: MSK Fact number one: an undetectable viral load may rival a condom SS A person who is undetectable and has been undetectable for some time, there is very little chance of them transmitting the vir

Five Things About HIV (They’re Not Telling You)

published: January, 20, 2011 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Mark S. King

Mark S. King is no stranger to blogging. In fact this is his 100th post over on his own well known website My Fabulous Disease. PositiveLite extends a huge and warm welcome to Florida-based Mark . .

Five Things About HIV (They’re Not Telling You)

 . . who will be featured regularly on PositiveLite. We will be showcasing some of his newer posts, like today’s, and also some gems – and there are a lot of them - from his back catalogue. Read Mark’s bio here. If you like what you see here, and we have a feeling you will, please head right on over to My Fabulous Disease and enter a world quite like no other. Believe me, you’re in for a treat. Mark is often funny and irreverent, a trait he shares with PositiveLite.com, but he als

Light for Rights

published: January, 12, 2011 Categories // Community Events, Events, Opinion Pieces

I worry that those close to me who are engaged in high risk behavior won’t get support or testing. I’m worried that I’ll end up in jail…..”

To mark the beginning of World AIDS Awareness Week and the approach of World AIDS Day on December the 1st, The Canadian AIDS Society (CAS) hosted ‘Light For Rights’ at the Human Rights Monument in downtown Ottawa on November the 24th. Representatives from the Gatineau and Ottawa-area included the Bureau Régional D’action Sida, Bruce House, the AIDS Committee of Ottawa, Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, and the African and Caribbean Health Network, as well as CAS, and the Canadian Asso

2011: When being called a freak is a compliment

published: January, 10, 2011 Written by // Brian Finch - Founder Categories // Opinion Pieces, Brian Finch

It wasn’t that long ago someone said to me, “And I just thought you were weird.”

There has been many a time when I think, “God people just don’t get me…”    It wasn’t that long ago someone said to me “And I just thought you were weird.” Over time I’ve learned to embrace these kinds of descriptions. Being a freak is actually “in”, with Lady Gaga as the newly-minted spokesperson for the freaks, the outsiders, and pretty much anyone who feels disenfranchised. My guess is that there are a lot of people who feel they are always on the outside

Waiting for a new standard of care: is time running out for aging HIVers?

published: January, 08, 2011 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

In which Bob Leahy looks at what’s wrong with standards of care for older people living with HIV, what’s being done about it – and what isn't!.

Waiting for a new standard of care: is time running out for aging HIVers?

The topic of HIV and aging has received much attention of late.  But questions remain as to how much is being done to improve a health care system which some argue fails HIVers over 50. Yes, there has been a lot of talk, but how much is actually being DONE is the question of the day. My take? Not nearly enough, at least here in Canada. The situation looks a little better in the States. This week, for instance, it was announced that a study in San Francisco has been launched to f

Criminal Acts – on both sides of the border

published: January, 01, 2011 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

In which Bob Leahy looks at the top PositiveLite stories of 2010 and why criminalization of HIV non-disclosure was right up there.

Criminal Acts – on both sides of the border

You know, I’m willing to bet that many folks think that what draws readers to PositiveLite.com is the fluff. There are, after all, many sites that deal with the serious side of HIV, and even some that make light work of it, but few that combine the two in the semi-schizophrenic way this site does. In any event, you’d expect perhaps the site's lifestyle/humour/entertainment/fashion posts to be the big draw, right? And often they are. Interviews with Nina Arsenault of Silicone Diar

Homo for the holidays: have yourself a homophobic little Christmas

published: December, 17, 2010 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

In which Bob Leahy puts down his egg nog to examine two cases of happily homophobic greetings coming his way this holiday season

Homo for the holidays: have yourself a homophobic little Christmas

From Halifax this week came the news that radio station Q104 had run afoul of local gay rights activists with an ad which said  “we’ll deck the halls, but we draw the line at gay apparel”. The station’s management consented to alter the in-house radio ad after the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project issued a news release and set up a Facebook page about it. The action group called the promo ad homophobic. For its part, the radio station said it didn’t mean to offend or

Do scare tactics work? NYC Health PSA “It’s never just HIV…”

published: December, 15, 2010 Written by // Brian Finch - Founder Categories // Opinion Pieces, Brian Finch

So how do we get the two-fold message, which are really two side of the same coin

Several gay groups in New York are calling for the pulling of this public service announcement. Given that the infection rate keeps rising in the gay population, the makers of this PSA felt they needed to bring out the realities of living with HIV, which are not all pretty. It really is a fine line with these kinds of social marketing campaigns. What is a social marketing campaign? I get asked this quite a bit. It seems like those in the know assume that everyone knows this terminology. These

FIGHTING CRIMINALIZATION: HOW WE CAN ALL HELP

published: December, 14, 2010 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

In which Bob Leahy high-fives the Ontario Working Group on Criminal Law and HIV Exposure in pushing for prosecutorial guidelines in cases involving alleged non-disclosure of HIV status

FIGHTING CRIMINALIZATION:  HOW WE  CAN ALL HELP

First let me say that I consider the criminalization issue by far the largest and most important issue on the plate of the HIV community right now. I can't think of any laws that are more stigmatizing of HIV people as a group, less based on science as opposed to fear and, when it boils down to it, less effective in meeting the goal of reducing HIV infections. Let me also say that I’m no Johnny-come-lately to this issue.  I sat on a working group headed by Glenn Betteridge not long

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