Rob Olver - Editor

Rob Olver - Editor

Robert W. Olver is a former education worker with an alternative life in experimental music. Currently retired and living in Peterborough, Ontario, he is a gentleman of leisure and the friend of all cats everywhere.

On October 14 2015, Robert  celebrated the first anniversary of his HIV diagnosis. Yes, that’s right. Celebrated.

“It was given to me just after my birthday and just a few days before I was to retire. I felt a bit overwhelmed initially but there’s nothing like a crisis to help you sort out what’s important to you. Let’s just say I found myself needing to revise some of my plans.

A year on, I find much to celebrate and I’ll be blogging to explain just what I mean by that and lots of other things as I navigate this journey."

SOS Venezuela: ARV’s urgently needed.

published: September, 19, 2017 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Social Media, As Prevention , Activism, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, General Health, Current Affairs, Features and Interviews, Sexual Health, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Rob Olver - Editor

Rob Olver speaks with ICASO Executive Director, Mary Ann Torres about her efforts to mobilize a Canadian response to the humanitarian crisis ongoing in Venezuela.

SOS Venezuela: ARV’s urgently needed.

Just a decade ago, Venezuela's AIDS program  was a model for countries throughout the developing world. Now it's a ruin. Recently, by way of our friends at the Canadian Positive People Network (CPPN), PositiveLite.com received an update on Venezuela's steadily worsening situation, along with an ask: "S.O.S. Venezuela: Urgent solidarity needed!" ran the header. Signed by ICASO Executive Director Mary Ann Torres, the appeal continued: "There is a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, the home c

Site upgrades at PositiveLite.com!

published: August, 25, 2017 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Social Media, featured, Upcoming Events, Rob Olver - Editor

PositiveLite.com is upgrading its site.

Site upgrades at PositiveLite.com!

PositiveLite.com is currently upgrading to new software and introducing a mobile version. It's possible that you may see some temporary disruption and out of place features while this is going on.  We apologize for any inconvenience and hope you'll bear with us as we go through these growing pains. The PositiveLite.com Team

Brenda Musenga and the KUTUSA Ladies: fighting stigma and forging community as they go.

published: August, 22, 2017 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Social Media, As Prevention , African, Caribbean and Black, featured, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, General Health, Mental Health, Features and Interviews, Women, Health, Sexual Health, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Media, Rob Olver - Editor

Robert Olver in conversation with Zambian HIV activist, Brenda Musenga.

Brenda Musenga and the KUTUSA Ladies: fighting stigma and forging community as they go.

Brenda Musenga is a determined woman. I’d had a sense of that already from reading this story by Paul Shalala, about a group of young HIV activists who had adapted Kevin Maloney’s “Rise Up to HIV+” campaign for stigma-busting use in their communities in Zambia. Paul’s story introduced and told a bit about each member of the group and what shone through to me at the time about all of them was their sheer determination not only to thrive in the face of adversity and ostracism, but to

A Canada-led international Indigenous initiative towards global HIV, TB and Hep C targets

published: July, 27, 2017 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Social Media, Activism, Conferences, Current Affairs, Features and Interviews, International , Legal, Living with HIV, Media, Population Specific , Rob Olver - Editor

Rob Olver in conversation with Ken Clement, CEO of the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN)

A Canada-led international Indigenous initiative towards global HIV, TB and Hep C targets

At AIDS2016, in Durban, South Africa, Canadian Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott made a commitment to strengthen the consultative process with Canada’s marginalized indigenous communities. As a result of that promise, on July 10-12 of this year the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) brought together indigenous leaders and stakeholders from 14 countries to to share promising practices that highlight progress towards achieving global HIV, TB, and hepatitis C targets in Indigenous com

Rethinking justice with renewed hope

published: June, 19, 2017 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Community Events, Social Media, Conferences, Activism, Current Affairs, Legal, Media, Rob Olver - Editor

Rob Olver attends the 2017 Symposium on HIV, Law and Human Rights and comes away with a sense of cautious optimism.

Rethinking justice with renewed hope

So there I was, getting up at three in the morning once again in order to get to Toronto in time for an event. The event in this case was "Rethinking Justice 2017 Symposium on HIV Law and Human Rights" and I'd been looking forward to it especially since I knew a representative of the federal government would be there and I was very keen to hear what that representative might have to say to us. Two buses and a train later, I was in Toronto, waiting for the symposium to begin. First off, Trevor

Criminalization of HIV non-disclosure: is the tide turning?

published: June, 19, 2017 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Social Media, Activism, Conferences, Current Affairs, Features and Interviews, International , Legal, Media, Rob Olver - Editor

Rob Olver interviews Edwin J. Bernard, Global Co-ordinator of the HIV Justice Network at "Rethinking Justice 2017 Symposium on HIV, Law and Human Rights

Criminalization of HIV non-disclosure: is the tide turning?

One of the things that made the “Rethinking Justice: 2017 Symposium on HIV, Law and Human Rights” a “must-attend” for me was the presence of Edwin J. Bernard, Global Co-ordinator of the HIV Justice Network and foremost expert on HIV criminalization worldwide. PositiveLite.com had interviewed Edwin before and published him as well, but that was all the way back in 2012 and 2016 so I attended the symposium hoping for the chance of an interview. I wasn’t disappointed. Edwin proved very

Zoe Saldana's stunning performance in Sia's HIV video will have you in tears

published: June, 09, 2017 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Social Media, Arts and Entertainment, Performances, Photography, Women, Music, International , Media, Rob Olver - Editor

Sia's new video, "Free Me" is an achingly beautiful tour de force.

Zoe Saldana's stunning performance in Sia's HIV video will have you in tears

Sia’s gorgeous new song, “Free Me”, and the even more gorgeous video that goes with it both aim to spread awareness for the #endHIV campaign and benefit the Abzyme Research Foundation (all proceeds of the song will be used to advance a new potential HIV/AIDS cure).  The video, starring Zoe Saldana and narrated by Julianne Moore, details the story of an expectant mother who has just learned that she is HIV-positive and that without treatment the virus will enter her child. Zoe Saldana

Attending #HealtheVoices2017: a conference like no other.

published: April, 28, 2017 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Social Media, Activism, Mental Health, Research, International , Living with HIV, Rob Olver - Editor

Rob Olver reports back on attending HealtheVoices17, a conference of online health advocates held in Chicago by Janssen & Janssen.

Attending #HealtheVoices2017: a conference like no other.

I applied, but didn't expect to go. HealtheVoices is a very different sort of conference to any of the others I’ve been to. It’s a conference of online patient health advocates, 105 of them this time, representing different chronic health conditions, HIV being just one. I was already aware of the conference due to PositiveLite.com’s Wayne Bristow and Bob Leahy having attended last year. They’d both had nothing but good to say about the experience and so, thinking, “Why the heck not

Attending CAHR2017 as a CATIE rapporteur

published: April, 13, 2017 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Aging, Social Media, Conferences, Activism, As Prevention , African, Caribbean and Black, Gay Men, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Youth, Mental Health, Women, Research, Health, Legal, Treatment, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Rob Olver - Editor

Rob Olver reports back on #CAHR2017

Attending CAHR2017 as a CATIE rapporteur

As I prepared to attend CAHR2017 in Montreal I was elated, but a bit nervous as well. I hadn’t qualified for a community scholarship but had been accepted as a CATIE rapporteur. This meant I’d be covering the event for CATIE as well as for PositiveLite.com and then on the final day, my fellow rapporteurs and I would present a report back to the rest of the conference with a distillation of what we’d seen and heard. So yes, I had butterflies, mostly because I haven’t done much science w

A forum on HIV, rehabilitation and episodic illness: a personal account.

published: March, 27, 2017 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Social Media, Conferences, Activism, General Health, Mental Health, Health, Living with HIV, Rob Olver - Editor

Rob Olver goes to Envision Forum 2017, presented by Bruce House in Ottawa on March 22-23.

A forum on HIV, rehabilitation and episodic illness: a personal account.

"Since it was established in 1988, Bruce House has provided critical resources and support to Ottawa residents living with HIV and AIDS> I would like to thank everyone involved with the agency for their dedication to making a difference in the health and well-being of their fellow citizens."  - The Rt. Hon. Justin. P. J. Trudeau, P.C., M.P., Prime Minister of Canada. #EnvisionForum2017 was a forum on HIV, rehabilitation and episodic illness held by Bruce House in Ottawa on March 22-23 and

Is HIV stigma killing us?

published: March, 21, 2017 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Social Media, Aging, Mental Health, Research, Health, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Rob Olver - Editor

Rob Olver investigates “Stigma and suicide among gay and bisexual men living with HIV”, a study by Olivier Ferlatte, Travis Salway, John L. Oliffe & Terry Trussler and finds the answer to be an unequivocal "yes."

Is HIV stigma killing us?

“People get what they deserve, Time is round and space is curved, Honey have you got the nerve  to be Queen Elvis?” – Robyn Hitchcock, “Queen Elvis” Once I was diagnosed in 2014 I knew right away that I wanted to advocate so I’ve been out about my HIV-positive status from the get-go. I objected to living a lie, which I equate with living in an ongoing state of fear. It didn’t take me long to realize that HIV is a minority disease, that my fellow human beings were potentiall

Why do people with HIV smoke so much?

published: February, 16, 2017 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // OHTN OHTN/PositiveLite.com, Aging, Social Media, African, Caribbean and Black, Gay Men, General Health, Mental Health, Health, Smoking Cessation , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Rob Olver - Editor

Rob Olver: What does this tell us about people living with HIV and what are the health implications as the population ages? The Ontario HIV Treatment Network Cohort Study has some sobering answers.

Why do people with HIV smoke so much?

At the beginning of last August I quit smoking for the last time, after having smoked for roughly half my life, but in spells of about seven years on and seven off. An odd pattern, I know. It wasn’t planned, it just worked out that way. And so I got lots of experience at giving up the habit, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. And at times it was easy to quit, while at others it was incredibly hard and sometimes downright impossible. For instance, one day fairly early in my smoking care

Beating HIV stigma in Uganda with Love to Love Organization

published: December, 30, 2016 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Social Media, African, Caribbean and Black, Activism, Arts and Entertainment, Youth, Current Affairs, Mental Health, Photography, Features and Interviews, Health, Music, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Media, Rob Olver - Editor

"We provide and advocate for the rights of the innocent children who are orphaned and vulnerable and youth who we believe deserve love, care and support." William Matovu of Love to Love Organization tells his story

Beating HIV stigma in Uganda with Love to Love Organization

One of the things that delights me most in my work with PositiveLite.com is the window it allows me onto a worldwide community that affords me boundless uplift and inspiration. Recently I was privileged to make contact online with William Matovu, a young HIV activist working at Love to Love Organization, which supports orphans and children living with HIV in Uganda.  "We provide and advocate for the rights of the innocent children who are orphaned and vulnerable and youth who we believe des

Another year on and still finding my way.

published: October, 25, 2016 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Social Media, Aging, As Prevention , Activism, Gay Men, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Current Affairs, Mental Health, Sexual Health, Smoking Cessation , Treatment, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Rob Olver - Editor

In which Peterborough poz guy Robert Olver bangs on about his second year post-HIV diagnosis.

Another year on and still finding my way.

“It may be hard for some to understand, but far from feeling like a victim, I feel blessed. Sure, I would rather there was no such thing as HIV but there is and one day I contracted it. That's mine. It's a part of my life and it informs my life in ways that I love. From adversity, opportunity.” Those words come from a column I wrote some time ago about the first anniversary of my HIV diagnosis and the reasons why I found it something to celebrate and not to mourn. I find it a bit hard to

Coming of Age: Exploring our collective response to HIV and Aging

published: September, 26, 2016 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Aging, Conferences, Events, Health, Treatment, Living with HIV, Rob Olver - Editor

Rob Olver reports on this past weekend’s forum from the organization formerly known as the Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation (CWGHR)

Coming of Age: Exploring our collective response to HIV and Aging

Rob Olver with Tammy Yates For me, a young man of 62 who was diagnosed days before retirement, this conference was one that I didn't want to miss, as it would present a rare overview not only of our current response to HIV and aging, but of the data which might inform that response in the future.  I also witnessed the dawn of a new era. It was good to see the organization formerly known as CWGHR transform before our eyes last Friday night at a well attended reception at Toronto Courtyard Ma

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