Living with HIV

HIV treatment is not only a life giver but a life saver.

published: February, 16, 2018 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Social Media, As Prevention , Current Affairs, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Health, International , Revolving Door, Treatment, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Guest Authors, Media, Opinion Pieces

From Uganda, Matovu William's first article as a regular contributor to PositiveLite.com discusses the many benefits of antiretroviral theraoy (ART).

HIV treatment is not only a life giver but a life saver.

According to UNAIDS, there were approximately 36.7 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2016. Of these, 2.1 million were children (<15 years old). As of July 2017, 20.9 million people living with HIV were accessing antiretroviral therapy (ART) globally, up from 15.8 million in June 2015, 7.5 million in 2010, and less than one million in 2000. HIV treatment known as Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) is medication which is given to HIV positive people to treat HIV but it do

Love Positive Women: why a fulfilling sexual life with HIV matters

published: February, 15, 2018 Written by // CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource Categories // Activism, Social Media, CATIE, Events, Women, CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Sex and Sexuality

From CATIE Blog, Allison Carter, Jessica Whitbread and Angela Kaida: "Only by elevating HIV-positive women’s sexual pleasure to a higher status can we truly support their access to full sexual health and rights."

Love Positive Women: why a fulfilling sexual life with HIV matters

“I went through a long period, seems like ancient history now, but I remember when I was first diagnosed, I felt so dirty. Like everything about me was, I suppose, unsafe and unclean and my blood was just full of crap. Just the whole thing was very internalized… For the most part now, I feel loveable. I feel good about myself. I just feel like I’ve still got a lot to offer and give and that I can be part of a strong, healthy relationship, despite the difficulties, I suppose.” —Anony

“Mom, I’m HIV-positive.”

published: February, 15, 2018 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Social Media, Youth, Women, International , Revolving Door, Living with HIV, Guest Authors

A poem by guest author, Janice S. Urbsaitis.

“Mom, I’m HIV-positive.”

“Mom, I’m HIV-positive.” When I hear those words, I want to grab all the best experts and latest practices, to advocate for human rights and access to care, and to reject HIV criminalization. But most of all, I want to hold you close in a big hug. I want you to know that you are loved no less than you have always been but more! Your strengths can’t be taken from you-- You flash with energy even while standing still. You excel in languages, and in your studies. What are yo

Are gay clubs toxic?

published: February, 13, 2018 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Dating, Social Media, Gay Men, International , Revolving Door, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Media, Guest Authors, Opinion Pieces

From FS Magazine, Mark Reed: "The pressure and expectation we put on these night outs isn’t healthy."

Are gay clubs toxic?

Photo: © pixabay.com/STVIOD I can still remember the heady heights of my first few nights out at a gay club. It was like having the run of a sweet shop at night. There were goodies all around and boy did I want to sample them all. I’d get ready to go out, meet my friends for pre-drinks (the favoured choice of poor students), head out to a club, make eyes at the cute guy across the dance floor and dance to the hypnotic beat of Rihanna’s Umbrella-ella-ella-ella-eh-eh-eh (oh hey Summer of

The Pierrot necklace

published: February, 08, 2018 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Aging, Social Media, Gay Men, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Félix Garmendía

New York guy Félix Garmendía: "Thanks to Pierrot, I am reminded that there is STILL beauty and blessings in my life, here in this wonderful and magical place called New York City."

The Pierrot necklace

When I started studying my undergraduate degree in theater at the University of Puerto Rico, I fell in love with a sad character from 17th century France. I ran into my first “Pierrot,” one day taking a leisurely walk on the historic Old San Juan. Jewelry has always fascinated me, as a child I remember playing with my parent’s rings. It was a lazy balmy afternoon in 1980, when I decided to take the bus to the historic Old San Juan area. Once there, I went into a very pretty jewelry/ a

I’m online too much, it’s making me sick!

published: February, 07, 2018 Written by // Wayne Bristow - Positive Life Categories // Aging, Social Media, Gay Men, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Wayne Bristow

Wayne Bristow: "Not only am I feeling nauseated, I have become lazy, isolated and fat... so I should get busy."

I’m online too much, it’s making me sick!

When I go online, I can get inspired, something will make me laugh, I might cry happy or sad tears, or I can get frustrated and stressed. From comical puns to shithole Trump, I am all over the map with my feelings. But over the last couple weeks I have felt physically nauseated. By that I mean my eyes go all crazy I can’t stand to look at the screen, and I get a feeling I might vomit. I have to shut things down and lay down for a while, the longer the better. The first thing I do each morni

The “village elders” of the HIV community: what’s their role?

published: February, 06, 2018 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Social Media, Activism, Aging, Gay Men, Current Affairs, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Getting old when living with HIV doesn’t always mean early retirement – or even retirement at all - if you can juggle self-care, health and giving back to the community. Bob Leahy reports.

The “village elders” of the HIV community: what’s their role?

What are village elders? In many cultures, the concept of village leaders is well known. Unless one comes from an indigenous community it is a path less well travelled in the HIV community. That’s surprising. Collectively, we have seen a lot of energy devoted to the subject of HIV and aging. Much of that discourse though centres around the impact of HIV and /or HIV treatment and/or the toll of advancing years on our bodies. The dialogue has been less fulsome about the concerns of the elde

Ed Wolf's Journal of the Trump years for February: am I waiting for nothing?

published: February, 05, 2018 Written by // Ed Wolf Categories // Activism, Social Media, Aging, Gay Men, Current Affairs, Mental Health, International , Ed Wolf, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces

Ed Wolf: "I’m so over all the hoopla about Trump's first 100 days; I’d rather celebrate and acknowledge more important events..."

Ed Wolf's Journal of the Trump years for February: am I waiting for nothing?

Photo of hospital bed from the internet Day 149.  The Big Bed There were times on the AIDS ward, during the worst days of the epidemic, when several patients died on the same day. Broken-hearted lovers and friends and family members would circle the bed and weep as their beloveds departed. There were other days when everyone was well enough to be discharged and live another day. As soon as the bed was available, someone else would be admitted. Sometimes, when there was an empty bed, a docto

It’s time to stop linking ‘loose morals’ to immigrants with HIV

published: February, 05, 2018 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Activism, Social Media, Current Affairs, Women, Legal, Revolving Door, Living with HIV, Media, Guest Authors, Opinion Pieces

From The Conversation, guest author Laura Bisaillon on rampant HIV discrimination through the immigration process.

It’s time to stop linking ‘loose morals’ to immigrants with HIV

Are you kidding me? With nearly four decades under our collective belts of global experience working on HIV and AIDS, we are past considering it acceptable to link someone’s health status with their perceived sexual “moral values.” Such were my thoughts after reading and reflecting on an article in The Toronto Star this month: “Decision-maker slammed as ‘Moral Police’ for refusing immigration to HIV-positive man.” I have researched medical inadmissibility decision-making and

Taking multiple Rx drugs raises risks for aging adults with and without HIV

published: February, 02, 2018 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Research, Health, International , Revolving Door, Living with HIV, Guest Authors, Media

From Yale News, Ziba Kashef reports on a Yale-led study examining the effects of polypharmacy on people living with or without HIV.

Taking multiple Rx drugs raises risks for aging adults with and without HIV

(© stock.adobe.com) Taking five or more prescription medications increases the risk of hospitalization and death in older adults infected with HIV and comparable adults without HIV. The findings of this Yale-led study highlight the potential risks of prescribing additional drugs to patients with multiple medical conditions. The research was published online in the journal AIDS. The use of multiple medications is known as polypharmacy, a common concern due to clearly established increased

Women with HIV less likely to receive recommended treatments for gynaecologic cancers

published: January, 29, 2018 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Social Media, As Prevention , Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Women, Health, International , Revolving Door, Treatment, Living with HIV, Guest Authors, Media

Toxicity and patient factors were the main reasons why women did not receive treatment recommended in guidelines.From AIDSmap, Michael Carter reports.

Women with HIV less likely to receive recommended treatments for gynaecologic cancers

The majority of HIV-positive women diagnosed with gynaecological cancer do not receive treatment recommended by cancer guidelines, according to research conducted in the United States and published in AIDS. Women whose care did not match guideline standards had poorer survival compared to women who received the recommended care. Toxicity and patient factors were the main reasons why women did not receive treatment recommended in guidelines. “To our knowledge, there is no case series de

For auld lang syne: a letter to HIV-negative me

published: January, 24, 2018 Written by // Isaac D. Joseph Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Social Media, Gay Men, Youth, Newly Diagnosed, General Health, Mental Health, Isaac D. Joseph, Spirituality, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces

Isaac D. Joseph addresses his former, HIV-negative self: "My beautiful black sheep, be unapologetically proud of who you are..."

For auld lang syne: a letter to HIV-negative me

It has been five years since that day you were attacked and raped and as a result of that rape you were transmitted the HIV virus. On the day you find out that you are HIV-positive you are instantly thrown into a whirlwind of psychological and biological warfare mixed with 24 years of emotional baggage that we should have let go years ago, but nothing fuels a grudge better than anger. Right now you’re probably somewhere in a hotel room, getting high as a Georgia pine, listening to Erykah B

I’m a bad patient

published: January, 23, 2018 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Aging, Social Media, Gay Men, General Health, Health, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy on those who stumble on the way to managing one’s health in the manner we are told to, and how he has got used to being a “bad” patient

I’m a bad patient

Colour me bad When I was diagnosed in 1993, I continued to work for six months, my life virtually unchanged except for a heavy heart and a secret few knew. I had time, though, to ponder the card that fate had dealt me. In 1994 I decided change was in order. So I left work for good, disclosed to everybody in sight and plunged into volunteerism. My first volunteer job involved manning the reception desk at ACT, then called the AIDS Committee of Toronto.  I thrived. During quiet times at the r

PrEP’s social impact on the lives of some gay men in Toronto

published: January, 23, 2018 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Dating, African, Caribbean and Black, As Prevention , Gay Men, Youth, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Research, Health, Sexual Health, CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource, Lifestyle, Treatment, Living with HIV

Researchers in Toronto conducted a PrEP demonstration project to assess its acceptability, use and effectiveness. From CATIE, Sean R. Hosein reports.

PrEP’s social impact on the lives of some gay men in Toronto

- Researchers interviewed early adopters of PrEP in Toronto about their experience. - Participants reported that their use of PrEP left them feeling “proud” and “liberated.” - Stigma and judgment related to PrEP also led some participants to conceal their use of it. PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) involves taking two anti-HIV medicines in one pill, usually daily, to reduce the chance of getting HIV. PrEP is meant to be used in combination with other HIV prevention approaches, such a

The Diva Flu

published: January, 22, 2018 Written by // Patrick Italo Ettenes Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Aging, Gay Men, General Health, Health, International , Living with HIV, Patrick Italo Ettenes

Patrick Ettenes: "Let’s be frank, none of us are wonderful when sick."

The Diva Flu

Happy 2018 everyone! I trust that everyone had a great New Year celebration without any drama?  I laugh, as of course I didn’t and pushing forward, I will discuss that drama one day in the future, after I’m done pulling the pins out of the voodoo doll that represents the individual (smiling ever so cheeky). So let’s push forward. After my New Year’s I became Ill. The trauma I went through and the partying had a toll on me and of course my body was run down and I became sick. Laying o

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