Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy - Publisher

Award-winning blogger Bob Leahy first made his social media mark a decade ago on LiveJournal.com 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 HIVStigma.com campaign, along with PositiveLite.com founder Brian Finch.  He joined PositiveLite.com 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 TheBody.com.

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.

U=U laggards draw fire from the community

published: January, 16, 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

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 transmissibility.” The campaign’s reach In Canada has b

The privileged amongst us

published: January, 02, 2018 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Social Media, Activism, Gay Men, As Prevention , Current Affairs, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Health, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy on the tricky business of acknowledging privilege - how it works both for and against those who have it.

The privileged amongst us

Privilege; Definition a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people. I’m a lucky person. I get to go on vacations. I also take a lot of photos while I’m away, not on an expensive camera now, but on my iPhone. It’s become a habit to share some of them on Facebook while I’m away. I also go to quite a few HIV-related conferences, some in Canada, some further away. Again I take photos and post them on Facebook. I sometimes fe

The news on the Canadian criminalization front explained – part two

published: December, 15, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Activism, Social Media, Current Affairs, Legal, Media, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Last week Bob Leahy explained the impact of the ground-breaking December 1 announcements that sought to ease the laws surrounding non-disclosure of HIV. Today he looks at the mixed community reaction to those announcements

The news on the Canadian criminalization front explained – part two

Go here to read part one. Background: The announcements last week required careful messaging, walking a tightrope between acknowledging progress while recognizing they fell well short of what community activists had asked for. The Federal Justice Minister had, after all, talked about the “over criminalization” of HIV. The Department had also paid homage to the science. “The criminal law should not apply to persons living with HIV who have engaged in sexual activity without disclosing

Wrestling with stigma – literally

published: December, 12, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Activism, Social Media, Arts and Entertainment, Gay Men, As Prevention , Youth, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Performances, Health, Treatment, Living with HIV, Media, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy goes to a wrestling match and meets Steve Blair, an engaging poz guy from Lindsay Ontario who just organized Smash! Stigma – a successful wrestling/HIV advocacy mashup that also promotes U=U.

Wrestling with stigma – literally

Steve Blair always wanted to be a pro wrestler. He studied professional wrestling at the Shawn Michaels Wrestling Academy in San Antonio, Texas in 2001. But then life got in the way. “I wrestled all my life with the hopes of being a pro wrestler but got interested in other things that led me away from that” he told me. “I’m still a huge fan. I wasn’t doing wrestling myself but I was talking to other wrestlers and still following it very closely – the independent promotions and the

Interview: He’s living and leading in Turkey with HIV

published: December, 11, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Social Media, Activism, Gay Men, As Prevention , Current Affairs, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Features and Interviews, Health, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Media, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy in conversation with Minas from Istanbul about the face of activism in Turkey and how Minas bravely burst onto the world stage in July 2017.

Interview: He’s living and leading in Turkey with HIV

If you followed the International AIDS Conference in Paris this last summer, you might have read that community activists caused quite a stir. In particular they interrupted one plenary session and took over the stage. They danced, chanted and spoke about the impact U=U had on their lives. One of these activists was Minas, 36, from Istanbul. He’s tall, striking looking - and straight. His words were striking too – the fact that people with HIV have sex and the good news that U=U can bring

The news on the Canadian criminalization front explained – part one

published: December, 08, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Social Media, Activism, Hep B and C, Gay Men, Current Affairs, Women, Legal, Media, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy says the news on World AIDS Day that the approach to criminalizing HIV non-disclosure in Canada has changed has left some confused. Here is an easy to follow laymens’ guide to what went down.

The news on the Canadian criminalization front explained – part one

World AIDS Day 2017 saw a dizzying array of announcements. Two in particular contained news of particular importance to people living with HIV. They were about the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure, a complicated topic that generated more commentary and some controversy. The purpose of this article is to explain what the news meant for people living with HIV. Part two will deal with what people are saying about it – and our opinion too. Background: It’s important for people living wit

PositiveLite.com is named Canada’s most influential HIV website for the fifth year in a row

published: December, 04, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, International , Living with HIV, Media, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Healthline announces its annual HIV Influencer Honours. PositiveLite.com is number one in Canada. Elsewhere listed are allies Bruce Richman (Person of the Year) and the Prevention Access Campaign and U=U (Campaign of the Year.)

PositiveLite.com is named Canada’s most influential HIV website for the fifth year in a row

For the fifth consecutive year, PositiveLite.com has won an award for the best Canadian-focused HIV website, amongst a stellar list of influencers. The presenter is Healthline, a U.S.-based giant in the field of web-based consumer health information . Our citation says this: “PositivelIte.com remains a leading voice in HIV news and advocacy in Canada. For the fifth consecutive year, we name them the top Canadian HIV resource. This year the publication became a powerful advocate for the #Ue

Our World AIDS Day message is celebratory

published: December, 01, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Activism, Social Media, Gay Men, As Prevention , Current Affairs, General Health, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Health, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Media, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Publisher Bob Leahy says World AIDS Day tributes take many forms, but PositiveLite.com is saying World AIDS Day 2017 is a time to celebrate – and, with the Government of Canada now on board, names 2017 as the year of U=U.

Our World AIDS Day message is celebratory

Those charged with writing world AIDS day messages have a surprising array of options. They can honour our fallen – that’s important. Paying tribute to those living with HIV is also a worthy goal. Our messages can be reflective of the past, taking stock of where we are now, or aspirational. Inspirational too. All these topics I’ve addressed in the past. I’ve never done a celebratory World AIDS Day message before. But then 2017 has been no ordinary year. It has been a year of personal

CATIE scores again with a fine national conference – but is it their last?

published: November, 28, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Social Media, African, Caribbean and Black, Gay Men, As Prevention , Conferences, CATIE, Current Affairs, Events, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Women, Health, CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource, Treatment, Media, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Last week saw 400 people gather in Toronto for CATIE’s “Transforming our Practice” national forum, looking at new knowledge and new strategies to end the epidemic. It was an unqualified success. But what’s next? Bob Leahy reports.

CATIE scores again with a fine national conference – but is it their last?

I’m fortunate to attend many HIV conferences in Canada and sometimes elsewhere. They educate, they inspire and they allow for lots of networking – in particular the peer-to-peer engagement that so strengthens our response to HIV in Canada. CATIE delivered all of this last week in Toronto. While scholarships, through diminishing dollars continue to be hard to get, a sizeable contingent of people living with HIV were in the house, thanks in part to a financial arrangement with CATIE and the

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

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

New report from OHESI shows numbers of new HIV infections in Ontario continue to rise - but some good news as Toronto’s continue to fall.

published: November, 10, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // OHTN OHTN/PositiveLite.com, Social Media, Gay Men, As Prevention , Current Affairs, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Mental Health, Research, Health, Treatment, Ontario HIV Treatment Network, Media, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy on the mixed bag of numbers which shows a province struggling to match impressive gains elsewhere. Where is this all heading?

New report from OHESI shows numbers of new HIV infections in Ontario continue to rise - but some good news as Toronto’s continue to fall.

PositiveLite.com previewed the numbers before, but now the preliminary report  is out and it’s a mixed bag. One thing is clear though. Ontario is being left behind by some of its competition. The province’s epidemiology unit, OHESI, housed at the OHTN, confirms that new HIV infections, although down from ten years ago, have been on the rise the last three years. The increase in that time period is fortunately not large but contrasts sharply with good news from other countries, notabl

Another chance to hear Bruce Richman in Toronto

published: November, 02, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Activism, Social Media, As Prevention , Gay Men, Youth, Current Affairs, Events, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Women, Upcoming Events, Health, Treatment, Media, Bob Leahy - Publisher

A November 22 community Forum brings New York City’s Bruce Richman back to Toronto for a don’t-miss community forum on U=U (Undetectable equals Untransmittable)=

Another chance to hear Bruce Richman in Toronto

He’s a colleague and a friend so I’m hardly impartial. but I’ve been doing this work for a very long time, and honestly, I’ve never met anyone quite like the Prevention Access Campaign’s Bruce Richman. We first met in Toronto one year ago when PositiveLite.com brought him to Toronto for a community forum in Toronto on what was then a lesser known concept. He preached, with the full weight of science behind him, that people who are virally suppressed – that means on treatment and

Talking about HIV and U=U in Russian

published: October, 27, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Social Media, Activism, As Prevention , Current Affairs, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Features and Interviews, Health, International , Treatment, Media, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy interviews the Switzerland HIV non-profit organization director Dr. Alex Schneider, an expert on the troubling HIV epidemic in Russia, the largest in the world

Talking about HIV and U=U in Russian

Bob Leahy: Hi Alex, thank you for agreeing to talk to PositiveLite.com. Tell me a little about yourself. You live in Switzerland? Alex Schneider: Yes, I have lived in Switzerland for three years, not far from Zurich. I live here because of my husband and his job. I moved here from Germany. Before that I lived in Russia and USSR (the Ukraine). I’m 38 years old. I’ve been HIV-positive for five-six years and I’m undetectable. How would you describe your profession, because I know you have

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