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The Latest Stories By Wayne Bristow

  • HIV and aging revisited – connecting with healthcare
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  • Visual AIDS: birds of a feather

Wayne Bristow

Wayne Bristow

I'm a poz guy, just starting my tenth year living with HIV. I've been blogging here at since March 20th, 2011. I volunteer at two AIDS Service Organizations in my area, ACG (AIDS Committee of Guelph/Wellington) and ACCKWA (AIDS Committee of Cambridge Kitchener Waterloo and Area). I've also been blogging for ACG since November 2010. I am a self-taught social media junkie doing facebook and twitter. I'm a great retweeter. I was recently hired by the OHTN (Ontario HIV Treatment Network) as a Peer Research Assistant. In my spare time I am a hobby photographer; some of my photos show up in my blog. 

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Visual AIDS: birds of a feather

Friday, 24 January 2014 Written by // CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource Categories // Hobbies, Arts and Entertainment, Gay Men, CATIE, Photography, Health, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Population Specific , Wayne Bristow , CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource

From CATIE’s winter edition of The Positive Side comes this piece from contributor and social media coordinator Wayne Bristow

Visual AIDS: birds of a feather

This article previously appeared in The Positive Side, a publication of CATIE, here

Une version française est disponible ici.  

When I take pictures of birds, I try to capture something a little different—not just a bird sitting on a branch, but their movement and personality. I took this shot while walking through the Arboretum in Guelph, Ontario. I caught these two dark-eyed Juncos in the split second that they were fighting for a position on the bird house.

When taking pictures, I’m not thinking of HIV. For me, photography is an escape from thinking about HIV. I am online most of my day, writing about it and sharing information as a social media coordinator for Taking pictures is my “me” time—my time for self-care, exercise and sometimes socializing.

After an episode of stress several years ago that caused my CD4 count to drop, I had to leave my job and start treatment. I needed something to do, a hobby. I hadn’t picked up a camera for many years but had always liked photo­graphy. So I bought myself a good camera and started hiking the trails around Guelph, snapping everything that caught my eye.

Photography gets me out of the house and keeps me grounded, giving me a place in this world. HIV could have made me live in isolation, but taking pictures has become a social activity. I meet other photographers, as well as people who are just curious about what I’m photographing. Most days I head out for one of my hikes, it’s five to seven hours before I return, with more than 200 photos on the camera to keep me busy sifting through them and editing them the rest of the night.

This photo was the first of many rewards for me exercising my “me” time.

—Wayne Bristow

To see more of Wayne Bristow’s photos, visit

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