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."

Beating HIV stigma in Uganda with Love to Love Organization

published: December, 30, 2016 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Social Media, Activism, Arts and Entertainment, Youth, Current Affairs, Features and Interviews, Mental Health, Photography, Health, International , Music, 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, Activism, As Prevention , Gay Men, Current Affairs, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, 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

I’m undetectable and yes, I’m uninfectious

published: August, 23, 2016 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Activism, As Prevention , Treatment, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Rob Olver - Editor

I’m undetectable and yes, I’m uninfectious Rob Olver says “As a person living with HIV, I'm thrilled that PositveLite.com has endorsed the Undetectable = Uninfectious campaign. I want to tell you why I’m thrilled – and how I got there.”

 I’m undetectable and yes, I’m uninfectious

We are at a watershed. That watershed is exemplified by the knowledge that with an undetectable viral load I cannot transmit HIV. That is huge. But how did we – how did I – get to that place?  One of the really great things about my contracting HIV has been the renewed sense of purpose I have and the way it has galvanized me to learn and do what I can to further the struggle against this epidemic and the multitude of social and economic factors that fuel it. I've always had these concern

Poz is here to stay

published: June, 07, 2016 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Aging, Activism, Gay Men, Youth, Newly Diagnosed, Women, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Rob Olver - Editor

A few concerns for long term survivors and their children as Rob Olver looks into the possible future

Poz is here to stay

 “You won't have to wait for the judgment day, Judgment will happen every day. And fear is what will frame you, Not your DNA.” The Paper Chase, “We Have Ways to Make You Talk” OK so you've just been diagnosed Poz and you've got a million questions but the one that looms up first for a lot of people is, “Am I going to die?” And the answer is yes, darn right you are. We all will, but probably not as a result of HIV, not these days at least. Not as long as we're successfully in

Pets and living with HIV: Rodney and me

published: April, 28, 2016 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Pets, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Rob Olver - Editor

Peterborough, Ontario’s Robert Olver tells us why animals are good for you and says “If I could make any recommendation at all to someone diagnosed with HIV or to anyone else for that matter, it would be this: love someone.” Or something.

Pets and living with HIV: Rodney and me

"But I am saying that if they offer you the chance, then love them for what they are and care for them for all you’re worth." In the spirit of full disclosure I should let you know that living with HIV is only one piece of my particular puzzle. You see, I also live with depression, C. O. P. D., a vascular disruption to my legs and the onset of old age. Luckily for me, I also live with the two handsome devils pictured.  I’d like you to meet Little One (l) and Rodney (r). Little One was n

Exploring leadership courses in Ontario

published: March, 16, 2016 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Activism, Gay Men, Newly Diagnosed, Living with HIV, Population Specific , Rob Olver - Editor

One year after diagnosis, Peterborough’s Rob Olver is diving in to leadership training options and says “Hey Gang! Reinvent your AIDS Service Organization! Here’s how!”

Exploring leadership courses in Ontario

What have I been up to? It’s been an exciting couple of weeks for me. I’d no sooner got back from PLDI training in Orillia, Ontario and then I was off to Ottawa for level two of my TTOA training. I’ve been back from Ottawa about a week now but keeping a low profile while dealing with things on the home and health fronts.  What are PLDI and TTOA? OK, one at a time.  PLDI is the Positive Leadership Development Institute, a partnership program of the Ontario AIDS Network and the Pacifi

Adventures in HIV: celebrating D-Day, part two

published: February, 04, 2016 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Activism, Gay Men, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Rob Olver - Editor

Twelve month’s later - in which Rob Olver sees that his HIV diagnosis is not God's way of telling him to fuck off.

Adventures in HIV: celebrating D-Day, part two

 “Flesh is magic, dancing on a clock.” – Leonard Cohen, “God Is Alive, Magic Is Afoot”. / So four days previous I had turned sixty two. I was set to retire at the end of the month and now I had tested positive for HIV. I'd been struggling already to understand what retirement might mean to me and in truth I hadn't got much beyond some rosy vision of lawn bowling, cucumber sandwiches and cranky letters to the editor. Frankly, I didn't think it was for me. But what in hell was the di

Adventures in HIV: Celebrating D-Day, Part One:

published: January, 04, 2016 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Gay Men, Newly Diagnosed, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Rob Olver - Editor

In which Robert Olver joins the HIV club and gets to grips with a bang with his new reality

Adventures in HIV: Celebrating D-Day, Part One:

“OK, so we’ve just seen two dots form on the testing membrane and that means you’ve tested positive for HIV.”  Nothing really prepares you for this. It’s the evening of October 14, 2014 and at this point I’ve been testing negative for HIV for longer than some of you have been alive. I think I’m fairly well informed and I believe myself to be at minimal risk. I’ve come into Toronto for my regular test yet again (since you can’t get an anonymous HIV test in Peterborough, wher

HIV movies through new eyes - The Normal Heart

published: December, 21, 2015 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Activism, Arts and Entertainment, Movies, Television, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Rob Olver - Editor

Rob Olver reviews the highly regarded movie adaption of Larry Kramer’s story of activism in New York in the early days of the epidemic, The Normal Heart.

HIV movies through new eyes - The Normal Heart

The Normal Heart is a 2014 HBO film written by Larry Kramer based on his 1985 play of that name and directed by Ryan Murphy. The cast includes Julia Roberts, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina, Jonathan Groff and also Joe Mantello, who starred in the original theatre production.  The movie portrays the rise of the AIDS epidemic in New York between 1981 and 1984 and rages against the forces that failed to act or even speak up during the epidemic’s early years. A generation of young gay

HIV movies through new eyes - Longtime Companion

published: November, 12, 2015 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Gay Men, Arts and Entertainment, Movies, Living with HIV, Population Specific , Rob Olver - Editor

Rob Olver reviews the early AIDS film Longtime Companion (1989) and says “I can’t recommend this movie highly enough.”

HIV movies through new eyes - Longtime Companion

Although AIDS cut a devastating swath in the creative professions throughout the 80’s it is perhaps surprising that, released in 1989, Longtime Companion was the first wide-release film to relate what life was like in the early years of the AIDS epidemic in America. It was preceded only by the TV movie, “An Early Frost” and the excellent but obscure, “Parting Glances”. Written by Craig Lucas and directed by Norman Rene, the film follows events over eight years in the lives of a grou

HIV movies through new eyes - Parting Glances

published: October, 19, 2015 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Gay Men, Arts and Entertainment, Movies, Newly Diagnosed, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Rob Olver - Editor

Rob Olver reviews the ground-breaking 1984 movie, one of the earliest films to address HIV and AIDS, and says “ I recommend it to anyone interested in gay or HIV-related cinema.”

HIV movies through new eyes - Parting Glances

I was really looking forward to seeing this one. An American independent film directed by Bill Sherwood, Parting Glances was shot in 1984 and released in 1986. It’s widely considered a landmark of gay cinema and is one of the earliest films to address HIV and AIDS. Robert (John Bolger) works for an international aid organization and is about to leave on a work assignment in Africa. He’ll be leaving behind his partner, a freelance editor named Michael (Richard Ganoung). Michael meanwhile s

HIV Movies through new eyes - “Rent” falls just a little short

published: September, 15, 2015 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Arts and Entertainment, Movies, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Rob Olver - Editor

Newly diagnosed Peterborough guy Robert Olver reviews the 2005 movie version of the Broadway musical “Rent” which features HIV positive characters barely getting by in New York City

HIV Movies through new eyes -  “Rent” falls just a little short

Please let me start by admitting right off the top that though I love music and spend as much time as I can in its presence, I don’t care much for musicals. My friend Bob knows this so he’s asked me to review another one. “There’s a lot in there if you listen and look for it,” he told me. So OK, here goes. Rent is a musical drama based on the Broadway musical of the same name, which was in turn based on the opera La Boheme which premiered in 1896. The film was directed by Chris Col

HIV Movies through new eyes - Philadelphia: "important any way you look at it"

published: August, 17, 2015 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Activism, Gay Men, Arts and Entertainment, Movies, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Rob Olver - Editor

Newly diagnosed Peterborough guy Robert Olver reviews the 1993 movie that stars Tom Hanks as a lawyer under attack from his employer while fighting the ravages of AIDS

HIV Movies through new eyes -  Philadelphia:

When Bob told me he wanted me to review Philadelphia next in PositiveLite.com's “HIV Movies through New Eyes” series I swallowed hard. What on earth could I possibly say about this iconic movie? I mentioned none of this to Bob, of course, so here I sit, film freshly watched and I’m still very much under its spell and… WHAT can I possibly say about this iconic movie? Well, I can say this: Philadelphia is an extremely influential film about HIV, AIDS, homosexuality and the conflation of

Classic AIDS movies through new eyes: Zero Patience (1993)

published: July, 15, 2015 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Activism, Arts and Entertainment, Movies, Opinion Pieces, Rob Olver - Editor

We asked newly diagnosed Peterborough, Ontario man Robert W. Olver to review some of the movies which reflect our history. In the first of a series, he looks at Zero Patience, a remarkable made-in-Canada AIDS musical from 1993

Classic AIDS movies through new eyes: Zero Patience (1993)

My friend Bob recommended this movie to me the other day. “It’s called Zero Patience”, he told me. “It’s a musical comedy about HIV/AIDS.  It debunks the Patient Zero myth and it’s got lots of funny bits. See what you think.” A musical comedy about Patient Zero? How could they even pull that off? I approached with a few misgivings (love music, don’t much care for musicals) but Bob’s description had my curiosity piqued and besides, he’s got pretty good taste, has Bob, so

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