Features and Interviews

PositiveLite.com Publisher Bob Leahy talks to CATIE’s Executive Director Laurie Edmiston

published: April, 05, 2017 Categories // Activism, Features and Interviews, Treatment, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

PositiveLite.com gets the inside scoop on U=U (CATIE’s role in promoting it) federal government funding (any hope of more money?) and the Federal HIV/AIDS strategy (missing in action or not?)

PositiveLite.com Publisher Bob Leahy talks to CATIE’s Executive Director Laurie Edmiston

It’s a pleasure chatting with CATIE’s Laurie Edmiston. She is frank, knowledgeable, speaks with conviction – and generous with both her time and opinions. I asked her this week for her opinion on three topics crucial to where we are in the response to HIV at this time. I asked her about CATIE’s decision to endorse U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable) earlier this year and CATIE’s ongoing role in providing information and resources around that topic. I asked her about the status of t

Funding update: Canadian AIDS Society says it’s time for the movement to mobilize to get more money from the Feds

published: March, 14, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Activism, Current Affairs, Features and Interviews, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

The clock is ticking as 30% of community-based HIV organizations, including CAS, are set to lose federal funding in a year’s time. Bob Leahy reports

Funding update: Canadian AIDS Society says it’s time for the movement to mobilize to get more money from the Feds

The Canadian AIDS Society (CAS) is fighting for its life. It’s not alone. It was one of many agencies whose letter of intent to apply for a renewal of funding under the Community Action Fund administered by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) was disallowed in October of last year.  As we reported in October 2016 PHAC has in the past provided funding to  community based organizations who respond to HIV  - AIDS Service Organizations (ASO’s) plus national partners like CATIE, the I

From behind bars to the front lines of anti-criminalization advocacy

published: March, 08, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Features and Interviews, Legal, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy talks to Ontario’s Chad Clarke about how Chad's time in prison for non-disclosure of HIV status on an aggravated sexual assault charge turned him into a passionate advocate against HIV criminalization

From behind bars to the front lines of anti-criminalization advocacy

Chad Clarke has rebuilt his life Chad Clarke, 45. lives in Dresden, a rural community in south-west Ontario (pop 2,500). He contracted HIV in 2004 but was not diagnosed until 2008. In February 2017 his story was  featured in Toronto’s NOW magazine. Said the article by writer Rob Easton “On February 12, 2009 he turned himself in on an aggravated sexual assault charge brought by his former common-law partner. A judge found Clarke failed to disclose his HIV status. He didn’t see the ligh

Mr. Gay New Zealand Charlie Tredway talks HIV with Bob Leahy

published: February, 20, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Gay Men, Features and Interviews, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Bob Leahy - Publisher

Recently crowned Charlie, a man living with HIV and a passionate advocate, ran on a platform of confronting HIV stigma. Now he takes his message to the Mr. Gay World competition

Mr. Gay New Zealand Charlie Tredway talks HIV with Bob Leahy

Bob Leahy: First of all congratulations. Now I know you ran for Mr. Gay New Zealand because you wanted to talk about HIV. Tell me about that. Charlie Tredway: Right. My only reason was to bring visibility to HIV and to move past the stigma and the (untrue) fact that people living with HIV should be ashamed of themselves, not as good as the wider community. When I moved back to New Zealand from Sydney, the first campaign I did was because they didn’t have any HIV-positive gay males under the

Need more care for ASO staffers with mental health issues

published: February, 02, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Mental Health, Features and Interviews, Health, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy talks to Toronto’s Ed Argo about the mental health issues that plagued him while working in AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) and why he feels more needs to be done for those in similar situations.

Need more care for ASO staffers with mental health issues

Bob Leahy: Hi Ed. Why don’t I start by asking you why you contacted me? Ed Argo: Many reasons. I’m a person that has lived and lives with mental health issues such as chronic depression, acute anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder and I’ve been thinking about how this connects with GIPA (greater involvement of people living with HIV) and people living with HIV working in AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs). I’m a great believer in Ontario’s Positive Development Leadership Institu

What it's like living as an HIV-positive teen

published: January, 26, 2017 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Social Media, Activism, Youth, Women, Features and Interviews, Living with HIV, Revolving Door, Guest Authors

From SELF. Amy Marturana interviews Ontario's Ashley Rose Murphy, 18, who found out she had HIV when she was 7 and has been speaking at medical conferences in Canada about being HIV-positive since she was 10.

What it's like living as an HIV-positive teen

To read the full article by Amy Marturana visit SELF, here. When she was an infant, Ashley Rose Murphy was extremely sick. Murphy was born with HIV, which she contracted from her late birth mother. After spending over three months in a coma, she was placed into palliative care, taken in by adoptive parents, and given just weeks to live. Over 18 years later, the teen’s very much alive—and making her voice heard as a fierce advocate for HIV awareness. “I found out I was HIV positi

BC’s YouthCO talks to PositiveLite.com about its decision to back U = U

published: January, 17, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // As Prevention , Activism, Youth, Features and Interviews, Health, Treatment, Living with HIV, Sex and Sexuality , Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy talks to dynamic YouthCO executive director Sarah Chown about how and why she led her agency to say what few others would then say: that if you are undetectable you can’t transmit the virus.

BC’s YouthCO talks to PositiveLite.com about its decision to back U = U

YouthCO, a Canadian youth-led HIV and Hep C AIDS Service Organization that seeks to reduce stigma related to HIV and Hep C throughout British Columbia  through peer education and support, produced this graphic promoting U=U  Bob Leahy: Thank you for talking to PositiveLite.com Sarah. The obvious question I have to ask you is why? What made you decide as an agency to support the Prevention Access Campaign messaging about the impact of an undetectable viral load? Sarah Chown:  Well we have

U = U gains an important ally..Human Rights Campaign Partners With Prevention Access Campaign to Correct Misinformation About HIV

published: January, 09, 2017 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Social Media, Activism, As Prevention , Gay Men, Current Affairs, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, General Health, Features and Interviews, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Revolving Door, Guest Authors

Enter an accuracy watchdog to address inaccuracies about undetectable viral load. From TheBody.com, Noël Gordon interviews Prevention Access Campaign co-founder Bruce Richman

U  = U gains an important ally..Human Rights Campaign Partners With Prevention Access Campaign to Correct Misinformation About HIV

People living with HIV deserve accuracy Today, HRC announced a partnership with the Prevention Access Campaign (PAC) to correct misinformation about HIV in the news media through a new joint initiative called the Accuracy Watchdog. PAC is one of a growing number of organizations, including HRC, to champion the fact that people living with HIV cannot transmit the virus to a partner if they've consistently taken their medication and achieved an "undetectable viral load." This means the a

Beating HIV stigma in Uganda with Love to Love Organization

published: December, 30, 2016 Written by // Rob Olver - Editor Categories // Social Media, Activism, African, Caribbean and Black, Arts and Entertainment, Current Affairs, Youth, Mental Health, Features and Interviews, Photography, Health, Music, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Media, Rob Olver - Editor

"We provide and advocate for the rights of the innocent children who are orphaned and vulnerable and youth who we believe deserve love, care and support." William Matovu of Love to Love Organization tells his story

Beating HIV stigma in Uganda with Love to Love Organization

One of the things that delights me most in my work with PositiveLite.com is the window it allows me onto a worldwide community that affords me boundless uplift and inspiration. Recently I was privileged to make contact online with William Matovu, a young HIV activist working at Love to Love Organization, which supports orphans and children living with HIV in Uganda.  "We provide and advocate for the rights of the innocent children who are orphaned and vulnerable and youth who we believe des

The science-based U=U message is everywhere - but some aren’t biting.

published: December, 12, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Social Media, As Prevention , Activism, Gay Men, Current Affairs, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Features and Interviews, Health, International , Treatment, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy: Are organizations passing up on the chance to end HIV stigma and inform people living with HIV who are durably undetectable that they can’t transmit the virus? What people are saying

The science-based U=U message is everywhere - but some aren’t biting.

The images accompanying this article are from campaigns around the world informing people living with HIV that if their viral load is durably suppressed, they can not transmit the virus to others. There were no Canadian images used because no such campaigns exist in Canada.  It’s getting heated People living with HIV have never played a greater part in designing and implementing prevention messaging. In just a few months, the U = U message from the Prevention Access Campaign, arguably the

An exclusive interview with Health Minister Jane Philpott

published: December, 01, 2016 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // As Prevention , Hep B and C, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Features and Interviews, Health, Legal, Treatment, Revolving Door, Guest Authors

In an exclusive interview for PositiveLite.com for World AIDS Day, Rob Easton talks with federal Health Minister Jane Philpott about Canada’s 90-90-90 achievements, a renewed federal initiative on HIV, criminalization of non-disclosure and more.

An exclusive interview with Health Minister Jane Philpott

Photo: Motswari Mofokeng Rob Easton: Minister Philpott, thank you for taking the time for this interview with PositiveLite.com. Jane Philpott: My pleasure. You’ve had a very busy few weeks with health accords and a number of different announcements. How challenging is it to get HIV on the list of priorities, both within your ministry, and also around the cabinet table? I think it would be fair to say that HIV and other sexually transmitted and blood born infections have not b

What is sex really like for a gay trans man?

published: November, 21, 2016 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Social Media, As Prevention , Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, General Health, Mental Health, Features and Interviews, Health, International , Treatment, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Revolving Door, Guest Authors

On top of worries about disclosure or transphobia, sexual health can be a tough field to navigate for a lot of trans people too. From FS Magazine, Aedan Wolton

What is sex really like for a gay trans man?

This article by Aidan Wolton previously appeared at FS Magazine, here. Despite the wonderful diversity within our LGBTQ communities, it can sometimes feel like the ‘T’ is silent. Trans people are often left off the sexual health agenda, and even within community spaces, transphobia is rife. On the often hyper-masculine, phallocentric gay scene, queer trans men (guys assigned female at birth) can experience unique forms of invisibility and discrimination, making even a simple hook-up fee

Respected Canadian community advocate Ron Rosenes on the radio

published: November, 15, 2016 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Current Affairs, Features and Interviews, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Revolving Door, Guest Authors

Ron Rosenes interviewed about the Patient Zero myth by Anna Maria Tremonti for cbc radio's The Current

Respected Canadian community advocate Ron Rosenes on the radio

Listen to the whole program on cbc radio's The Current, here. Anna Maria Tremonti: I have Ron Rosenes with me now. He's a community activist and a researcher living with HIV since the early eighties. Many of those diagnosed with HIV in the eighties, including Gaétan Dugas, have died. Medical advances mean that many others survived. Those still living with HIV from that era can relate to the stigma that was attached and what was going on and how Gaétan Dugas’ name was used. Ron Rosenes, he

Addicted at work - an insider speaks

published: November, 14, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Gay Men, Mental Health, Features and Interviews, Health, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Population Specific , Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy talks in-depth to Eric Cashmore, a person living with HIV who works at a northern Ontario AIDS Service Organization about Eric’s ongoing struggle with his addictions, and about the help he receives from the workplace to deal with them

Addicted at work - an insider speaks

Bob Leahy: Thanks for talking to PositiveLite.com first of all. I really appreciate it. Now tell me why you wanted to talk to me, Eric. Eric Cashmore: This is something I had to consider very carefully Bob. Just a couple of weeks ago I had a talk with my employer where I was being very public within my office, and I realized I had started to cause distress amongst people around me talking so openly about my addiction issues and how I’m handling them and people became very worried with me. S

Advocating for a louder voice for treatment as prevention

published: October, 06, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // As Prevention , Activism, Features and Interviews, Sexual Health, Health, Treatment, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy speaks to Noel Gordon Jr, a young activist who at the recent US Conference on AIDS made a plea for more attention to treatment as prevention, suggesting it’s been "left in the closet" due in part to the "sexiness" of PrEP

 Advocating for a louder voice for treatment as prevention

Bob Leahy: Hi Noel. If I can paraphrase what I hear the topic of your talk was, I think you felt that the attention being given to promotion and advocacy for PrEP is not being matched by our enthusiasm for treatment as prevention. But tell me how you came to this conclusion. Noel Gordon Jr:  Yes. I’ve been a PrEP user for the past three years and I started PrEP because as a young black gay man living in Washington D.C. which has one of the highest incidence rates of HIV in the country

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