Opinion Pieces

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

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

Indigenizing research: the Wise Practices conference

published: February, 07, 2018 Written by // CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource Categories // Social Media, As Prevention , CATIE, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Research, Health, CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource, Treatment, Media, Opinion Pieces

From CATIE Blog, Laurie Edmiston: "...while CAAN and the AHA Centre are trying to conduct community research while honouring Indigenous people’s processes, some of us are still trying to impose our own standards and measures on Indigenous communities."

Indigenizing research: the Wise Practices conference

This past year the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) held its annual gathering, on the theme of “transforming wholistic approaches to Indigenous health.” It’s a gathering of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people, combining a business meeting, a gathering of Aboriginal people with HIV/AIDS, and the ‘Wise Practices’ research conference. But more importantly, it is a gathering of colleagues who have become friends, clients who have become peers, people with HIV who have become

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

U=U laggards draw fire from the community

published: January, 29, 2018 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Activism, Social Media, Gay Men, As Prevention , Current Affairs, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Women, Health, Treatment, Media, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

The Global U=U picture is good, but community activists are stepping up the heat on organizations which have been slow to embrace it. Today the spotlight is on Greater than AIDS, GNP+ and in Canada, the Ontario AIDS Network. Bob Leahy reports.

U=U laggards draw fire from the community

This article originallly appeared on January 16, 2018 If 2017 was a good year for many people living with HIV, it was for a simple, three character slogan that seemed to be everywhere. POZ.com, in awarding Undetectable equals Untransmittable, or U=U, the campaign of the year described it as “perhaps the most discussed and rapidly shared message to hit the HIV arena in years”. The Washington Post called it  “the campaign credited with beginning to change public perception of HIV trans

The term ‘LGBTI’ confuses desire, behaviour and identity – it’s time for a rethink

published: January, 25, 2018 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Social Media, Gay Men, Current Affairs, International , Revolving Door, Media, Guest Authors, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific

From The Conversation, Dennis Altman: "Desire, behaviour and identity are distinct, and do not always overlap."

The term ‘LGBTI’ confuses desire, behaviour and identity – it’s time for a rethink

This article by Dennis Altman prevously appeared at The Conversation, here. The rise of sexually transmissible diseases made front-page news in The Age, which tried to make sense of the rise among “gay men” and “heterosexual people”. This illustrates the increasingly common confusion between behaviour and identity. What is involved is sexual contact, or to use the expression common in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, “the exchange of bodily fluids”. Whether people involve

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

The power of "no"

published: January, 22, 2018 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Health, Legal, Lifestyle, Revolving Door, Media, Guest Authors, Opinion Pieces, Sex and Sexuality

From FS Magazine, Hadley Stewart: "Despite having consented to sex, we don’t necessarily make it clear what we’re consenting to. How able do you feel to negotiate in the bedroom?"

The power of

If, like me, you’ve never sat down and thought about the term ‘consent’, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it doesn’t really apply to you. Often we associate the term with the law, meaning that it’s easy to think it’s something that doesn’t form part of our lives unless we’ve been the victim of a crime. A sexual assault, for instance, is often paired up with the notion of consent. So does that mean we’ve never consented to anything or used our power of consent? Probably

So you tested positive for HIV

published: January, 19, 2018 Written by // Kimutai Kemboi, Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Social Media, Activism, As Prevention , Kimutai Kemboi, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Newly Diagnosed, General Health, Mental Health, Health, International , Sexual Health, Treatment, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces

Kimutai Kemboi of Kenya offers his best advice for those newly diagnosed with HIV.

So you tested positive for HIV

So you tested for HIV a few hours, days, weeks, months or years ago and you found out that you are HIV-positive. I know that was the last thing you expected, yet you must have been worried since that day you messed up somewhere or unwillingly/unknowingly got involved in a mess. Don't even burden yourself with thinking of that; it is absolutely not important. What is important is what you do after getting the facts. Immediately you saw two lines appearing in that testing kit, your mind went i

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