The lived experience at IAS 2015 - and talking CPPN

Published 29, Jul, 2015
Author // Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy in Vancouver interviews two Canadian people living with HIV from each side of the continent about what it’s like to attend a big international conference like AIDS 2015, about CPPN – and about understanding what’s going on

The lived experience at IAS 2015 - and talking CPPN

IAS 2015 was a science-based conference that also happened to be highly relevant to those living with HIV. In fact one could argue that it was 90% about people living with HIV. Fitting therefore that the HIV community was well represented, although numbers I don’t have. 

How did they get to Vancouver? Some were on community scholarships or media scolarships (like myself) or there as representatives of their home organizations who had managed to fiinancé their attendance. Some paid their own way. However they got there, it’s one of the highlights of any such gathering to meet and forge connections with peers from throughout the world. wanted first-hand impressions of what it’s like to attend a conference like this, the challenges people living with HIV face in this setting and what they get out of it. So we talked to two of them.

In the video below you’ll see Christian Hui of CPPN (Canadian Positive People Network (CPPN)/ Reseau Canadien des Personnes Seropositives (RCPS)). talking about his personal conference highlights, the role of activists and people living with HIV there as well as the emerging role of CPPN, a new national voice by and for Canadian people living with HIV.

(You can join CPPN/RCPS here.)

Christian is followed by Claudette Cardinal from the Positive Living Society of British Columbia who talks about understanding the science, networking and her role in women’s issues.


It’s not always easy for people living with HIV to attend these big events, but not impossible either. Foster connections with HIV organizations (not just one), express your desire to attend to anyone who will listen and watch out for scholarship opportunities are your best bets for successful sponsorship. Once there be a diligent attendee, report back what you have learned to your home community when you return home – and you stand a good chance of going again. If conferences are for you, that is. They are hard work and can be exhausting – but the rewards are there.

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.