Living with HIV

How normal are we?

published: June, 11, 2013 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Aging, Health, Treatment, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

A recent NY Times headline provokes this article by editor Bob Leahy on aging, side effects and attempts to normalize HIV and end its exceptionality.

How normal are we?

HIV and aging in the spotlight I’m going to be weaving a tale which includes the aging HIV population, how we view the trials of living with HIV, attempts to “normalize” HIV and end its exceptional status and, finally, funding.  If those subjects  don’t seem at first connected, bear with me. Blame the New York Times for this line of thought.  A recent headline in that august periodical read like this , , ,  “Spared Death, Aging People With H.I.V. Struggle to Live” which,

We HIVers are living longer

published: June, 11, 2013 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Aging, General Health, Research, Health, Living with HIV, Revolving Door, Guest Authors

Aidsmap.com reports people doing well on HIV therapy have a mortality risk identical to that of HIV-negative peers.

We HIVers are living longer

This article by Michael Carter first appeared on aidsmap.com here.   HIV-positive people taking antiretroviral therapy who have an undetectable viral load and a CD4 cell count above 500 cells/mm3 have a mortality risk comparable to that seen in the general population, investigators report in the online edition of AIDS. Researchers looked at mortality rates among participants enrolled in two large, randomised controlled trials – the SMART and ESPRIT studies. “We identified no evidence f

I’m just not that kind of girl

published: June, 11, 2013 Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific

DJ Relentless on tranny love and how he deals with suitors when he’s Jade Elektra.

I’m just not that kind of girl

It's that wonderful time of the year when some young men's fancies turn to finding the company of lovely beauties. The beauties are fashionable. They love attention and you might even say these gyrls have something extra. I'm talking about the men who are better known as "tranny chasers" and the gyrls are transsexuals or female impersonators. And given the fact that I have a stage persona known as Jade Elektra, I often get what I call "tranny mail". Very forward messages from aggressive young

Sex workers and overcoming the binary

published: June, 10, 2013 Categories // Activism, Women, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific

Megan DePutter on whether sex workers are “victims” or empowered people who choose the work, and how those two co-existing realities complicate our response. Similar issues exist for HIV and the notion of AIDS “victims” vs empowered individuals, she says

Sex workers and overcoming the binary

Yesterday I attended the 5th annual SWAN (Sex Workers Action Network) symposium in Waterloo. One of the points of discussion was the “binary” of framing sex work either under the oppression paradigm (in which sex workers are seen as victims) or under a “sex work is work” framework, in which sex work is positioned as any other form of labour. I have been more exposed to the “sex work is work” framework as of late, particularly through my exposure to the Red Umbrella Project    

Starting HIV treatment

published: June, 08, 2013 Categories // Newly Diagnosed, Health, Treatment, Living with HIV, Population Specific , Revolving Door, Guest Authors

From The Body.com : is your HIV treatment working? Warning signs and false alarms.

Starting HIV treatment

This article first appeared on TheBody.com here.   The first few months after starting HIV treatment are pivotal in determining whether your first regimen will be successful. Yet if you are brand new to HIV/AIDS treatment, how can you know what success is? It can be hard to tell the difference between a warning sign that your regimen might not be right for you and a normal signal that your body is still adjusting to the medications. No one wants to take medications that make them feel wors

Beautiful goodbye

published: June, 07, 2013 Categories // Gay Men, Mental Health, Health, Living with HIV, Population Specific

Jack Frost finds special meaning in an Amanda Marshall song that speaks to him about his journey before and after HIV.

“In these days of no regrets I keep mine to myself And all the things we never said I can say for someone else And nothing lasts forever but we always try And I just can't help but wonder why We let it pass us by”  Beautiful Goodbye by Amanda Marshall, - such an amazing song. The lyrics, the music, it sends shivers down my spine.  My friends don’t understand my love for Amanda Marshall. They always laugh at me when one of her songs comes on my iPhone and I get uber-excited. She

The fabulous wizard of POZ

published: June, 06, 2013 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Activism, Gay Men, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Mark S. King

Mark S. King at his funniest. But has fame as a POZ magazine cover girl gone to his head? Read his tongue in cheek answer.

The fabulous wizard of POZ

Every month or so, a group of people in my area host “poz socials,” a house party for people living with HIV. I found myself at one recently, because I thought it was important to make an appearance since becoming a literary superstar.  I was settled into the living room sofa and liked the spot very much. Sharing a couch with regular folk has an air of humility about it, while its angle allowed me to be viewed by a large number of the guests milling about. The man next to me leaned in c

Putting barebacking into context

published: June, 06, 2013 Written by // John McCullagh - Publisher emeritus Categories // Conferences, Gay Men, Events, Features and Interviews, Health, Sexual Health, Living with HIV, Population Specific , Sex and Sexuality , John McCullagh

Who barebacks and why? The AIDS Committee of Toronto’s bathhouse counsellor Rahim Thawer provides some answers.

Putting barebacking into context

What are we really taking about when it comes to barebacking? This was the question PositiveLite.com, in a video interview, posed to social worker and ACT TowelTalk bathhouse counsellor Rahim Thawer, following his presentation on this topic at the 9th annual Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance of Ontario  summit, held in Toronto in May 2013.  Putting barebacking into context is important now that we’ve begun to have more open discussions about the reality that gay guys aren’t always usi

Mzungu!

published: June, 05, 2013 Categories // International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces

Our regular contributor David Phillips is an HIVer on his first visit to Africa – and finds the stories of stigma and discrimination he hears are painfully familiar there.

Mzungu!

If you're like me, fair-skinned and visiting East Africa, "mzungu" will probably be one of the first Swahili words you learn. Originally meaning “someone who moves around wanting to see everything,” as a result of domination by meddlesome European powers it came to mean "white person." Even if one may have been working here among Africans for many years, one is still mzungu in the eyes of most.  For an HIVer on his first visit to Africa, mzungu makes me feel like a magical being when it

Crystal meth and me: the writer becomes the subject

published: June, 04, 2013 Categories // Gay Men, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific

Josh Kruger on the most popular hard drug in the gay community – and his experience with it.

Crystal methamphetamine, or tina, is the most popular “hard” drug in the gay male community. This fact is beyond dispute if you spend any time in any major metropolitan area in the United States. Late into the night or early into the morning, it’s easy to find anyone else to party with, and in bathhouses, regardless of whether they are in Philadelphia, New York, or Chicago, are virtual buffets of fellow guys getting high, enjoying themselves, and having sex that rivals that of the most

Growing with PositiveLite.com

published: June, 03, 2013 Written by // Wayne Bristow - Positive Life Categories // Social Media, Living with HIV, Media, Wayne Bristow

Wayne Bristow on how writing for PositiveLite.com and then additionally taking on the role of its social media coodinator has brought about positive changes in his life.

Growing with PositiveLite.com

It was just over two years ago that I sent off an email to Bob Leahy, the editor here at PositiveLite.com. I had just started blogging for my local AIDS Service Organization after completing a workshop there called Positive Prevention – Train the Trainer. The facilitator of the program was Megan DePutter who also began writing for PositiveLite.com around the same time. She suggested I follow the site, telling me they had some great stories and writers that I could learn from to improve my wr

My HIV story

published: June, 03, 2013 Written by // Christian Dolan Categories // Gay Men, Living with HIV, Population Specific , Christian Dolan

Guest Christian Dolan from the UK on both himself and his partner being diagnosed HIV-positive, the tumult that followed and how he has since found peace and control.

My HIV story

In August 2009, I was living in Twickenham, Middlesex, just outside of London, in a flat share with friends from University. I was working part time and was in the early stages of a new relationship. Life was great. As a child I was rarely ill. That summer I had started to feel quite weak, faint and seemed to be getting irregular colds which were unusual for me. I felt I would be wasting the doctor’s time and went to my local pharmacy to get some antibiotics. Two weeks later I felt unwell a

Bareback briefing

published: June, 03, 2013 Categories // Gay Men, Research, Sexual Health, Health, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Sex and Sexuality , Bob Leahy - Publisher

PositiveLite.com frequently covers barebacking and the views of those who practice it. But where does our online magazine stand on the issue? Editor Bob Leahy says it’s a balancing act, but by no means all barebacking should be frowned upon.

 Bareback briefing

There was a time in our online magazine’s first year or two that we didn’t cover barebacking. We thought it was too inflammatory a subject, thought it might encourage people to do it, thought that people would think we were irresponsible. That changed in a big way when we featured Josh Landale, Josh Kruger, Michael Bouldin and a handful of others for whom barebacking is part of their lives.  It is, after all, increasingly a part of the lives of many gay men, and the practice inevitably ra

Summer options

published: May, 29, 2013 Categories // Dating, Gay Men, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Population Specific

Our Positively Dating is playing the field again and says even a failed date can have redeeming qualities. And then there's this new prospect . . . . . .

Summer options

With the onset of summer, the New York boys seem to be wearing less and less and less. It makes every day activities, like walking without tripping or running into an unsuspecting tourist, a very difficult task.  I am always surprised at how many more eligible guys seem to inhabit New York in the warmer months. It is like they migrate here from the Midwest to partake of the summer smog and humidity. In reality, they are just waking up from a long winters nap to come out and play. And play th

Mau

published: May, 28, 2013 Categories // Dating, Women, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Population Specific

Denise Becker and the story of a Facebook friend no longer with us.

It’s hard to know how to tell this story, because it’s about someone I have never met and yet I feel devastated over their death. The only thing I can liken it to is feeling extremely sad upon hearing of the death of Princess Diana.  In September 2008, I broke up with my husband after 18 years together.  The thought of living on my own for the first time since I got my HIV diagnosis made me wonder what lay ahead. How I would introduce the subject to possible dates was a big question. A

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