Megan DePutter

Megan DePutter

Megan DePutter is the Training Manager for Terrence Higgins Trust in Glasgow, Scotland. A relatively recent transplant from Kitchener, Ontario, Megan enjoys exploring the city of Glasgow and all it has to offer while moaning about the weather.  Megan has worked in the voluntary sector for more than 10 years and spent 5 of those years working in the HIV field where she honed her passion and commitment to addressing the needs of people living with and at risk of HIV and AIDS. Megan manages the Learning Centre at Terrence Higgins Trust in Scotland to provide a range of HIV and sexual health related training. 

Her blogs represent her own opinions.

What I've learned through training

published: October, 13, 2017 Written by // Megan DePutter Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, As Prevention , General Health, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Women, Health, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Megan DePutter

Megan DePutter reflects on some of the high points as she prepares to go on maternity leave.

What I've learned through training

I’ve spent the last 1.5 years delivering training on HIV and related topics in Scotland. The audience has been diverse – it’s included nurses, GP’s, infant feeding advisors, midwives, therapists, social workers, addictions and criminal justice workers, dieticians and occupational therapists, psychologists, early childcare workers, people who work with vulnerable adults, students and people in a wide variety of other roles! During this period I’ve delivered training for nearly 550 peo

‘A near normal lifespan for people with HIV?’ For whom is this true - and who misses out?

published: May, 15, 2017 Written by // Megan DePutter Categories // Aging, Social Media, As Prevention , General Health, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Health, International , Smoking Cessation , Treatment, Megan DePutter, Opinion Pieces

Megan DePutter: "We can’t ignore these vulnerabilities that can put individuals more at risk both for acquiring HIV, getting diagnosed late, or struggling to adhere to the medication."

‘A near normal lifespan for people with HIV?’ For whom is this true - and who misses out?

Yesterday, the Lancet published a study titled ‘Survival of HIV-positive patients starting antiretroviral therapy between 1996 and 2013: a collaborative analysis of cohort studies’. This study found that ‘even in the late ART era, survival during the first three years of ART continues to improve.’ In fact, the authors found that ‘between 1996 and 2010, life expectancy in 20-year-old patients starting ART increased by about nine years in women and ten years in men.’ The authors con

Women: What HIV/AIDS organisations aren’t telling us about our amazing bodies!

published: March, 09, 2017 Written by // Megan DePutter Categories // Social Media, Women, Sexual Health, Health, International , Opinion Pieces, Megan DePutter

Megan DePutter:"there’s a considerable lack of understanding, respect and information-sharing going on about the basic elements of women’s sexual health, enjoyment, and reproduction."

Women: What HIV/AIDS organisations aren’t telling us about our amazing bodies!

When delivering training on HIV transmission, I like to ask the participants to name the five bodily fluids that can transmit HIV. Blood is always stated first. Next, the participants will (incorrectly) state saliva. People usually get semen next. And often one person will identify breastmilk. The remaining two tend to be a bit of a puzzle. The answers are of course, anal mucous and vaginal fluid. I have yet to encounter any participant who is not already working/volunteering in the field wh

Breastfeeding with an undetectable viral load: what do we know?

published: March, 07, 2017 Written by // Megan DePutter Categories // Social Media, Women, Health, International , Megan DePutter

Megan DePutter on why undetectable does not equal untransmittable in the case of breastfeeding, but why women should be supported to make an informed choice anyway

Breastfeeding with an undetectable viral load: what do we know?

I’m not a mother and sometimes I think that when it comes to breastfeeding I should just keep my big trap shut. I have started and stopped this blog so many times. But I’ve decided to write it and here’s why. I don’t think women are given enough information about breastfeeding. And I don’t think their choices are respected enough. I believe that women should be empowered to make their own choices about breastfeeding and they should be supported – not policed – in these decision

Why a course on sexual health and dementia

published: January, 31, 2017 Written by // Megan DePutter Categories // Aging, Social Media, As Prevention , Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Events, Mental Health, Sexual Health, International , Treatment, Megan DePutter, Sex and Sexuality

Megan DePutter: "Well-intended concerns about consent and capacity may lead to withholding information or efforts to restrict or manage sexual behaviour in ways that may be inappropriate."

Why a course on sexual health and dementia

Terrence Higgins Trust has partnered with Alzheimer Scotland to offer a course on Sexual Health and Dementia (for course details see bottom of post) in our new Learning Centre. Sexual health needs might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to supporting people with dementia. But sexual health is important for everyone. Here are a few reasons why we at Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland felt it was important to create a course on Sexual Health and Dementia. 1.

Remember, people with HIV invented safe sex.

published: January, 19, 2017 Written by // Megan DePutter Categories // Social Media, As Prevention , Gay Men, General Health, Current Affairs, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Sexual Health, Health, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Megan DePutter, Opinion Pieces

Megan DePutter debunks the logic that it is people who are aware of their HIV status who are responsible for spreading HIV and the ethics of withholding the information that U=U.

Remember, people with HIV invented safe sex.

"Withholding information on the assumption that it will be misused is not only misguided, it is unethical." Like most PositiveLite.com readers, I’ve been following the undetectable = untransmittable saga with interest. I was thrilled to read about the new statement from CATIE, which endorses this clear message. This ground-breaking change comes directly from the efforts of people living with HIV themselves. It represents a fine example of the profound work of people living with HIV and illu

Want to understand HIV? Ask the 'why' questions.

published: January, 12, 2017 Written by // Megan DePutter Categories // Social Media, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Health, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Megan DePutter

Megan DePutter finds that being asked difficult questions benefits both the trainee and the trainer. Test your HIV knowledge with Megan's quiz!

Want to understand HIV? Ask the 'why' questions.

Think you understand HIV? Really know your stuff? So did I. Then I started training. When I first started my job at Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland, I had been out of the field for two years. I was worried that some of the information I held was out of date, or not relevant to a UK context. This was true to some degree. I’ve had to update and geographically re-position my information. All of this has been acquired learning for me. However, this has paled in comparison to the amount of new k

Facing bereavement in HIV work: why is it so hard to say goodbye?

published: December, 07, 2016 Written by // Megan DePutter Categories // Spirituality, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Megan DePutter

Megan DePutter on the bereavement that often comes with HIV work: "We are left, without ritual, without comment, without community, without closure."

Facing bereavement in HIV work: why is it so hard to say goodbye?

I have been nervously anticipating this year’s World AIDS Day. It’s always a busy time of year for those of us who work or volunteer in the field, and it’s always one of mixed emotions, for many of us. But this year’s event is particularly unnerving to me, bringing a mixture of anxiety and relief. That’s because World AIDS Day is the only socially acceptable time for me to acknowledge, recognize and maybe even grieve the lives of people I knew, and cared about, who were living with H

Why some organizations are slow to adopt the undetectable=uninfectious message

published: September, 02, 2016 Categories // Megan DePutter

Undetectable = uninfectious so why are some organizations and educators so slow to disseminate the facts? From the UK, Megan DePutter delivers a penetrating analysis

Why some organizations are slow to adopt the undetectable=uninfectious message

Lately on PositiveLite.com there has been quite a bit of buzz about the PARTNER study - not only about its fantastic findings, but also about the HIV organisations who are slow to acknowledge the full implications of the results. There is even a campaign - Prevention Access Campaign's Undetectable = Uninfectious -  to change this. Recommended reading on the topic has to include ‘Will HIV Ever Be Safe Enough For You’ which is one of my new favourite blog posts by Mark S. King, who hit the

Homophobia and PrEP in the UK

published: August, 09, 2016 Written by // Megan DePutter Categories // Social Media, As Prevention , Gay Men, Current Affairs, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, International , Legal, Treatment, Megan DePutter, Opinion Pieces

Homophobia and HIV stigma run high in the UK, with the Daily Mail leading the charge, as Megan Deputter relates.

Homophobia and PrEP in the UK

The Daily Mail has published some rubbish in its time, but yesterday’s news takes the cake. One of the first things I did since starting my new role as Training Manager at Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland is develop an HIV Awareness training course. In my introduction to the topic, I provide an overview to where we are with HIV today. In a nutshell, I explain, we have grown immensely in our ability to understand, prevent and treat HIV. But stigma is stubborn. Stigma has been with us since th

Megan returns to PositiveLite.com and says "It’s good to be back"

published: August, 01, 2016 Written by // Megan DePutter Categories // Social Media, Activism, Health, Sexual Health, International , Megan DePutter, Opinion Pieces

After a long time away, Megan DePutter is back and despite the many changes that have happened, it's a welcome return.

Megan returns to PositiveLite.com and says

The fact that I’m writing this at 10:00 at night speaks volumes. Because when a job is just a job, you switch it off at the end of the day, go home and forget about it. But my work in HIV isn’t just a job. It’s much, much more than that. And I am so thankful I found my way back here. My last blog post at PositiveLite.com was shortly after I moved from Guelph, Canada, to Glasgow, Scotland. I wrote my last post sitting at a cafe in the West End of Glasgow, not really sure where this mov