Published 04, Feb, 2011
Author // Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy gives a shout-out to photographers everywhere to enter their work for SNAP, ACT’s photographic competition and fundraiser. And hurry, the deadline for submissions is February 11.


I’m really happy to be writing about SNAP. First of all I’m a bit of a photography nut. Secondly, I have a very soft spot for ACT. I’ll explain why in a moment, but first, here are details of the event.


WHEN: Sunday March 27, 6 – 11 pm

WHERE: National Ballet School, 400 Jarvis Street, Toronto


TELL ME ABOUT THE PHOTO CONTEST: Entries must be submitted by 5 PM EST, Friday, February 11. See here for contest rules, submission requirements, etc.

HOW DO I SUBMIT AN ENTRY: There is no limit to the number of entries submitted. This is a juried contest. See here for jurors:

WHAT ARE THE COMPETITION PRIZE CATEGORIES?Jim P. Shea Memorial Award for Best Overall Submission, Best Landscape, Best Photojournalism/Documentary/Streetscape, Best Still Life, Best Portrait/Figurative,Best Photo based/Abstract/Other.

Watch for more news about SNAP on


Meanwhile, I promised to explain why I have a soft spot for ACT

I was diagnosed with HIV in September 1993. The very next day, I and my partner Meirion went to seek help there, the first time I had ever set foot through ACT’s door. I was nervous, I know, but holding it together quite well. Feeling I needed to concentrate on the practical to get me through this, having already made arrangements to draw up a will – you did that in those days - my mission was to find a doctor specializing in HIV care.

I was asked on the ACT phone whether I wanted a peer counsellor.  I said yes. He turned out be a nice guy, very low key, but appropriately so. I think he sensed I was not in the market for a very deep discussion right then, he knew I wasn’t ready for it. So I left with the information I needed.

It was six months later that I returned. During that time, my circumstances had changed radically. I had adjusted (somewhat) to the realities of my condition, in particular negotiating my way through disclosure at work.  That in turn led to me getting placed on long term disability, surprisingly easily as it turned out.  With time on my hands, I applied for volunteer work at ACT.  I landed both a two-day-a-week stint working the front desk and a spot buddying for another poz guy in much worse shape than myself.   He passed away, a close friend by then, about a year later. My volunteer work had in the meantime become really fulfilling and convinced me that I wanted to do more. Much more.  Eighteen years of volunteer work later - at ACT, at PARN, at the OHTN, at CAS, at GMSH and now finally home to roost at, I owe it all to ACT.

So I’m tickled pink now, after all these years,  to be doing something for them in return, namely using PositiveLite’s social media smarts to help publicize SNAP. For me, it’s a great fit with my recent coverage here of the arts in general and in particular those occasions where the arts intersect with the world of HIV. SNAP is one such event.  I'm happy to lend a hand.

About the Author

Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy - Publisher

Award-winning blogger Bob Leahy first made his social media mark a decade ago on where there are still to this day almost 3,000 entries of his available to be read. He was a featured blogger on Ontario’s campaign, along with founder Brian Finch. He joined at its inception in 2009 and became it's Editor a year later.

Born in the UK, Bob’s background is in corporate banking, which he gladly left in 1994, after being diagnosed with HIV the previous year.  He has chaired the board of PARN (Peterborough AIDS Resource Network) and has been an executive board member of both the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) and the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS).  He was inducted in to the Ontario AIDS Network’s Honour Roll in 2005.  Bob is currently a member of Ontario’s GMSH (Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance). He also writes for

In 2012, Bob was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for his work and commitment to HIV/AIDS in Canada.

Bob continues to write for this site while in the Positivelite.Com editor’s seat, with a particular interest  in HIV prevention, theatre and the arts in general. He is accredited media for a number of Toronto theatres. He lives in Warkworth, Ontario with his partner of thirty-two years and three dogs.