Exploring - Never Stop

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.

PositiveLite.com to end publishing March 31

published: March, 28, 2018 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Activism, Social Media, Aging, As Prevention , Gay Men, Current Affairs, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Media, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy on the history of a unique Canadian website by and for people living with HIV – and why it has run its course

PositiveLite.com to end publishing March 31

I need to share with you that PositiveLite.com will cease publishing on March 31. As its publisher I’m not sad but proud, because its nine year history has been one of a series of successes. And I don’t feel the least bit defeated now but rather going out on a high note and ending our run on our own terms. This has been in the works for some time. It’s been a struggle to keep it a secret. The reasons for closing our doors are essentially twofold. First, the people who bring you Positiv

By the numbers: PositiveLite.com’s ten most popular posts of all time

published: March, 28, 2018 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Social Media, Activism, Gay Men, Current Affairs, Living with HIV, Media, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy looks at what caught readers’ eyes most in the nine years since PositiveLite.com first launched. What was our number one most read article by far? Read on!

By the numbers: PositiveLite.com’s ten most popular posts of all time

If an archaeologist at some distant point in the future wanted to explore what living with HIV (remember HIV?) was like in the first decade or two of the 21st century, they could do a lot worse than visit today’s top ten list. Like our lives, it runs the gamut – from sex to science and everything in between. It was arguably the most varied site about HIV out there. It set out, very deliberately, to explore the infinite variety within our poz lives which were never ALL about HIV but about l

Canadian AIDS Society (CAS) announces no Forum for people living with HIV this year.

published: March, 16, 2018 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Social Media, Activism, Gay Men, Current Affairs, Features and Interviews, Living with HIV, Media, Bob Leahy - Publisher

A sign of the times: Bob Leahy talks with CAS ED Gary Lacasse on the impact of funding cuts which will also see the national agency further downsize on April 1

Canadian AIDS Society (CAS) announces no Forum for people living with HIV this year.

The announcement came as no surprise to anyone following recent developments in the HIV movement in Canada. “Unfortunately, with the significantly changing landscape of the HIV movement (including massive cuts to government funding for HIV/AIDS community-based organizations), we will not be holding a 2018 forum due to financial constraints” said the email from CAS ED Gary Lacasse. “We have worked tirelessly in order to secure funding but as of yet have not been successful because no fund

Thinking about retirement? I am.

published: March, 15, 2018 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Activism, Social Media, Aging, Gay Men, Health, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy has been diagnosed with HIV for 25 years and actively involved in HIV work for all of that time. Aging, though, brings constraints and thoughts of when to get off the merry-go-round. Is this the time?

Thinking about retirement? I am.

I think it was reaching 70 that did it. My energy seemed to be less and my eyesight and hearing both weren’t what they were. I needed shorter days, less stress. More than ever I was aware of my potential to make a difference, but also of my limitations. And I started to think how much longer I could do this work? My work, like many of yours, is a mixture of excitement and drudgery. The excitement comes from things like attending conferences, travelling the world and being part of changing t

Moving in new directions

published: February, 26, 2018 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Social Media, Activism, Gay Men, Current Affairs, Media, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Exclusive: the Ontario AIDS Network and its ED Paul Lapierre are parting ways. Bob Leahy asks the OAN “what happened?”

Moving in new directions

The Ontario AIDS Network (OAN) board announced February 22 that Paul Lapierre is no longer the Executive Director of the OAN as “it is now time to move in a new direction”. The announcement followed a period of intense criticism from OAN member organizations, social media and the poz community in particular. Some of that criticism, which PositiveLite.com reported on here, involved omission of U=U messaging from the OAN’s World AIDS Day campaign in favour of more generic messaging. It

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

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