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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.

Old news

published: February, 23, 2018 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Social Media, Aging, Gay Men, Health, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

PositiveLite.com publisher Bob Leahy reports from the front lines of the aging experience and says “it’s not all about HIV”

Old news

I’ve had to deal with a few health complications since the start of the year. HIV and aging is becoming all too real. Or is it just aging, period? Have we over-complicated the experience that lies ahead for us by over-focusing on HIV- related issues? I don’t want to make the case that HIV doesn’t complicate the aging experience. There is a large body of evidence to suggest it does and we have been conditioned to treat the two conditions as if intertwined. But they are not always equal p

GNP+ signs on to U=U, gets warm reaction

published: February, 12, 2018 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Social Media, African, Caribbean and Black, Activism, As Prevention , Gay Men, Current Affairs, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Women, Health, International , Treatment, Media, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Fences were being mended as the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) announced last week its full endorsement of the “Undetectable equals Untransmittable” (U=U) campaign. Bob Leahy speaks to the principals.

GNP+ signs on to U=U, gets warm reaction

There have been many milestones in the two year history of U=U. In Canada, think of when CATIE came on board. Elsewhere, think of when U=U burst onto the world stage, quite literally, at IAS2017 in Paris. Or when the CDC embraced the science and said this, "people who take ART daily as prescribed and achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner." Or when leading U.S. scientist Anthony Fauci said this: "Fr

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

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

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 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, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, General Health, 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, Current Affairs, CATIE, 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, Current Affairs, Newly Diagnosed, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, General Health, Women, Mental Health, 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

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Canadian Positive People Network/Reseau canadienne des personnes seropositives
Canadian Positive People Network/Reseau canadienne des personnes seropositives
GMRC
CATIE
The Village Pharmacy