Opinion Pieces

Déjà vu and learning from my past mistakes

published: November, 23, 2017 Written by // Patrick Italo Ettenes Categories // Social Media, African, Caribbean and Black, Gay Men, Mental Health, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Patrick Italo Ettenes

Patrick Italo Ettenes on déjà vu and drawing from the lessons of past lives to help find the way forward.

Déjà vu and learning from my  past mistakes

Well, it will soon be here… that’s right, Christmas! A time of joy for some and sadness for others. Let’s face it, for many people, Christmas is not the best time of year. Nevertheless, someone like hypersensitive me will feel the energy in the air and sometimes I can smell Christmas, and I am kinda looking forward to it. And on the HIV calendar we have World AIDS Day coming up; a remembrance of all those who died when it first came out. So what’s this month’s article about? Well od

Riding the great white way

published: November, 21, 2017 Written by // Isaac D. Joseph Categories // Social Media, African, Caribbean and Black, As Prevention , Gay Men, Isaac D. Joseph, Mental Health, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Health, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces

Isaac D. Joseph on how he got free of cocaine and on what he thinks makes for a successful intervention.

Riding the great white way

“Did you try to live on your own, when you burned down the house and home, did you stand too close to the fire like a liar looking for forgiveness from a stone?” – Green Day, 21 Guns For years the LGBT community has been plagued with substance abuse issues. Studies have shown that, when compared with the general population, gay and bisexual men, lesbian, and transgender individuals are more likely to use alcohol and drugs at much higher rates than the general population. For many indiv

Being on the same page – and scrapping paternalism!

published: November, 20, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Activism, Social Media, African, Caribbean and Black, Gay Men, As Prevention , Youth, General Health, Current Affairs, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Newly Diagnosed, Mental Health, Women, Health, Sexual Health, Treatment, Media, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy on the confluence of voices that is saying paternalism towards people living with HIV doesn’t serve us well – and asks how we challenge it

Being on the same page – and scrapping paternalism!

The issue of paternalism – agencies who think or assume they are working in the best interests of their clients and make decisions for them – is in the news this week A word about us: PositiveLite.com has always been a bit of an “alt-left” voice when it comes to HIV. We don’t rely for our continued existence on government funders so that gives us a bit more freedom to report on what we – and often others - are feeling. So what’s the mood? Big Picture? The mood is of optimism,

Review: Five Guys Chillin’ is a brave exploration of sex and drugs

published: November, 18, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Arts and Entertainment, Events, Performances, Media, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy on the extraordinary play now running in Toronto at Toronto’s Kensington Hall that provides a very explicit, close-up look at the Party n Play (PnP) scene

Review: Five Guys Chillin’ is a brave exploration of sex and drugs

First the explicit: Yes there is a lot of (simulated) sex happening in this play. In fact the five characters interact sexually throughout much of the show. The program warns “you may be uncomfortable’. I wasn’t. Some will be. Secondly; the close-up. This is a small, intimate theatre and you are sitting VERY close to the action It’s hard to know what to make of Five Guys Chillin’ as a conventional theatrical piece, because it isn’t. There is precious little narrative thread in th

Stigma Mentality

published: November, 17, 2017 Written by // Kimutai Kemboi, Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Activism, Social Media, Kimutai Kemboi, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces

As "The boldest Kenyan who lives with HIV," Kimutai sometimes encounters stigma because of his high media profile.

Stigma Mentality

As per the article that was published yesterday on the Saturday Daily, I came to realise that stigma is at its peak. The kind of reaction I saw on all the platforms showed the kind of perception that our society has towards HIV and people living with HIV. People have a stigma mentality such that they rush to make utterances or moves without a second thought. Such ill minds are laying ground for stigma to thrive and make our people go through a lot of suffering. We should avoid these at all co

Stag me to hell: socialising with straight men

published: November, 15, 2017 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Mental Health, Health, Revolving Door, International , Guest Authors, Lifestyle, Media, Opinion Pieces

From FS Magazine, Mark Reed on gay-straight socializing: "Maybe if we tried to integrate more, we could break down prejudices held on both sides."

Stag me to hell: socialising with straight men

I have straight male friends who I hang out with one on one, but I don’t have groups of straight male pals who I hang out with on a regular basis. I don’t consciously seek to avoid these kinds of social situations, it’s more because, by and large, I feel more comfortable in the company of gay men (more on that later). This was going to be an all-straight affair, and I didn’t know half of the group at all.I was recently invited on a stag do – a first for me. I signed up quite readily,

The man that got it right

published: November, 14, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Social Media, Activism, As Prevention , Current Affairs, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Research, Features and Interviews, Health, International , Treatment, Media, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

PositiveLite.com publisher Bob Leahy in conversation with Dr. Pietro Vernazza, famous author of the once-scorned Swiss Statement which predated U=U by ten years.

The man that got it right

Dr. Pietro Vernazza being interviewed  in the studio with Bruce Richman in Paris at !AS2017 About the Swiss Statement: Source aidsmap http://www.aidsmap.com/The-Swiss-Statement-and-its-repercussions/page/1746478/ “There is evidence of some groups of gay men knowing, from the late 1990s onwards, that people with an undetectable HIV viral load were much less infectious, and were using this knowledge in sexual decision-making. Public discussion of this became much more high profile after a p

Tenda sema nenda zako (Do good and go your way)

published: November, 13, 2017 Written by // Kimutai Kemboi, Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Activism, Social Media, Kimutai Kemboi, Health, International , Treatment, Media, Opinion Pieces

Kimutai Kemboi: "Associating or sharing things with someone living with HIV cannot make you contract the virus, so be friendly and generous as you would to any other person."

Tenda sema nenda zako (Do good and go your way)

It is so ironic to find many people even in this 21st century still taking themselves back to the dark ages despite all the information that has been made available almost everywhere concerning HIV. People living with HIV still go through hell, even in their families. I find it painful that those who should be always there to support those who are sick are taking the forefront to curse them. One thing I wish people should know is that being HIV positive is an option but this can change in a m

The S Word

published: November, 07, 2017 Written by // Alex Sparrowhawk Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Mental Health, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Alex Sparrowhawk

Alex Sparrowhawk on HIV stigma "We want society to treat us with the same respect given to people without the virus. This means we need to live as we wish to be seen. Unashamed and unapologetic."

The S Word

Today I mark a day in my life that I will remember forever, it is eight years since I received my HIV diagnosis. I am a very different person to the 24 year old who sat in the clinic side room on that sunny November morning wondering how badly I had messed up my life. Over eight years I have experienced the full spectrum of human emotions, especially in the times I found myself alone in silence. I am lucky that I have received support and found confidence to channel my anger and frustration,

Ed Wolf's journal of the Trump years for November: expect the unexpected

published: November, 01, 2017 Written by // Ed Wolf Categories // Social Media, Activism, Aging, Gay Men, Current Affairs, Ed Wolf, Spirituality, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces

HIV activist Ed Wolf copes with Trumpism as the malaise continues.

Ed Wolf's journal of the Trump years for November: expect the unexpected

 Day 94.  Expect the Unexpected As some of you know, I had the great honor to be included in David Weissman’s award-winning documentary, “We Were Here,” and occasionally receive messages from people who’ve seen it. The following arrived a few days ago, a perfect reminder to all of us, in these polarized times, to continue to do our work, stay committed to our beliefs, and tell our stories. Hearts and minds can and do change. “Hi Ed. I just watched the movie in which you are feat

My new friend

published: October, 26, 2017 Written by // Dennis Battler Categories // Social Media, Aging, Gay Men, Mental Health, Health, Spirituality, Dennis Battler, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces

Dennis Battler honours Shanti's life and faces a new diagnosis.

My new friend

“And now its Wed. Tue was another day from the Hellien Gods. Centered around my new bodily curiousity the nature of which is too delicate for my demure conversational boundaries.” … as written to an older female friend earlier today. Thoughts change quickly. Well, fuck demure. As I wrote to another friend, David: "Re: sex - I doubt it will happen again in my lifetime. When I think of it, sex fucked up my life. As you said, “So much disease with sex.” And do we really pay attention?

Living with HIV in the 21st century

published: October, 25, 2017 Written by // Isaac D. Joseph Categories // Social Media, African, Caribbean and Black, As Prevention , Gay Men, Youth, Isaac D. Joseph, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Sexual Health, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces

Isaac D. Joseph debuts on PositiveLite.com as a regular contributor with his assessment of what it means to live with HIV today.

Living with HIV in the 21st century

In 1985, The Normal Heart, a play about gay men in New York fighting back against government indifference to the AIDS epidemic was performed. It depicts the rise of the AIDS crisis seen through the eye of Ned Weeks, the founder of a prominent HIV advocacy group. In the play Weeks nurses his lover, who is dying from an unnamed disease. His doctors are puzzled and frustrated by having no resources to research it. Weeks tirelessly fights for his lover and so many others, like him dying from AIDS,

Review: Bat out of Hell, the Musical in Toronto

published: October, 24, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Social Media, Arts and Entertainment, Performances, Music, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy reviews the Meat Loaf classic turned rock opera, now playing in Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre and declares it plot-flawed but otherwise a vocal and visual blast.

Review: Bat out of Hell, the Musical in Toronto

From time to time, PositiveLite.com explores the cultural references that shape our lives. Some - many - of those lives - have been hard, some less so. We acknowledge privilege where it clearly is a factor in the story being told. This is one such post. Forty years ago this weekend - over half a lifetime - an album was released that had huge impact. Many of its songs became iconic, soaring anthems that were operatic in scope, bat-shit crazy over-the-top marathons penned by mad genius Jim Ste

As the autumn leaves turn

published: October, 20, 2017 Written by // Patrick Italo Ettenes Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Patrick Italo Ettenes

Patrick Ettenes in praise of the simple pleasures

As the autumn leaves turn

Standing by the window, watching the autumn leaves turn, actually taking the time to watch as nature silently reminds me that seasons are real, the year is coming to an end, and life is taking place. I stand still, ever so slowly watching and taking in the fact that the trees have leaves still on them. The air is chirpy and the people are still clubbing away while I sit perched like a crow on the ledge of my office window on a Sunday. Why am I watching people? Because it’s a long lost art,

Backlash from civil society as PEPFAR announces three-year strategy

published: October, 19, 2017 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Social Media, As Prevention , Current Affairs, General Health, Mental Health, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Health, International , Revolving Door, Treatment, Guest Authors, Media, Opinion Pieces

The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is to accelerate efforts in just 13 countries under its news strategy. But critics say this narrowed focus could lead to a resurgence of the HIV epidemic..

Backlash from civil society as PEPFAR announces three-year strategy

PEPFAR's new three-year strategy, which was announced at the UN General Assembly in September, focuses efforts on 13 countries with high HIV prevalence that are nearing epidemic control – the point at which there are more annual AIDS-related deaths than there are new HIV infections. Under PEPFAR’s 2017-2021 strategy, Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe will see PEPFAR-funded programmes renewed and ex

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