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Opinion Pieces

As the autumn leaves turn

published: October, 20, 2017 Written by // Patrick Italo Ettenes Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Patrick Italo Ettenes

Patrick Ettenes in praise of the simple pleasures

As the autumn leaves turn

Standing by the window, watching the autumn leaves turn, actually taking the time to watch as nature silently reminds me that seasons are real, the year is coming to an end, and life is taking place. I stand still, ever so slowly watching and taking in the fact that the trees have leaves still on them. The air is chirpy and the people are still clubbing away while I sit perched like a crow on the ledge of my office window on a Sunday. Why am I watching people? Because it’s a long lost art,

Backlash from civil society as PEPFAR announces three-year strategy

published: October, 19, 2017 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Social Media, As Prevention , Current Affairs, General Health, Mental Health, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Health, International , Revolving Door, Treatment, Guest Authors, Media, Opinion Pieces

The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is to accelerate efforts in just 13 countries under its news strategy. But critics say this narrowed focus could lead to a resurgence of the HIV epidemic..

Backlash from civil society as PEPFAR announces three-year strategy

PEPFAR's new three-year strategy, which was announced at the UN General Assembly in September, focuses efforts on 13 countries with high HIV prevalence that are nearing epidemic control – the point at which there are more annual AIDS-related deaths than there are new HIV infections. Under PEPFAR’s 2017-2021 strategy, Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe will see PEPFAR-funded programmes renewed and ex

Dying in silence!!

published: October, 18, 2017 Written by // Kimutai Kemboi, Categories // Social Media, Activism, African, Caribbean and Black, As Prevention , Kimutai Kemboi, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Mental Health, Health, International , Treatment, Media, Opinion Pieces

From Kenya, Kimutai Kemboi: "John (not his real name) is a barber in one of the estates in Nairobi. He hails from a family where stigma is bred! He is among the many people for whom disclosure is a hell because stigma is their immediate surrounding."

Dying in silence!!

"I tested positive seven years ago and up to date no member from my immediate family knows about and I am not ready to disclose to them soon. I just vowed to live with my condition in silence rather than taking the risk of looking for worse by revealing my status. I saw what my aunt went through before she passed on and I can't imagine going through the same hell." This is what John, a barber in an estate within Nairobi, told me as he shaved me. We came to be friends after I went to his shop

What I've learned through training

published: October, 13, 2017 Written by // Megan DePutter Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, As Prevention , General Health, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Women, Health, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Media, Megan DePutter, Opinion Pieces

Megan DePutter reflects on some of the high points as she prepares to go on maternity leave.

What I've learned through training

I’ve spent the last 1.5 years delivering training on HIV and related topics in Scotland. The audience has been diverse – it’s included nurses, GP’s, infant feeding advisors, midwives, therapists, social workers, addictions and criminal justice workers, dieticians and occupational therapists, psychologists, early childcare workers, people who work with vulnerable adults, students and people in a wide variety of other roles! During this period I’ve delivered training for nearly 550 peo

Sweet money, bitter source

published: October, 12, 2017 Written by // Kimutai Kemboi, Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Activism, Social Media, Kimutai Kemboi, Features and Interviews, International , Media, Opinion Pieces

Kenya's Kimutai Kemboi interviews "Janet", a sex worker based in River Road, Nairobi.

Sweet money, bitter source

"Mr. Kimboi or whoever you call yourself, I demand some respect. I have human dignity as you do and deserve to be treated with decency. I do what I do because I am passionate of, this is my source of livelihood as well as my profession. And by the way you need to apologize if you are still interested in getting what you came for!" Janet fumed! I had no option but to be submissive and apologize though I also had to correct her: I am not Kimboi but Kemboi. She felt offended when I innocently re

Review: ‘The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson’ is Trans Film Noir

published: October, 09, 2017 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Movies, Women, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Mark S. King

Mark S. King reviews the new documentary by David France.

Review: ‘The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson’ is Trans Film Noir

Marsha P. Johnson, in a photo from the new documentary. Victoria Cruz, a dogged crime-victim advocate in New York City, has taken on one last case before retirement. She wants to solve the mysterious 1992 death of Marsha P. Johnson — a trans woman like Cruz herself — who’s body was pulled from the Hudson river after disappearing the evening before. The cause of death had been ruled a suicide, but that doesn’t wash with Marsha’s friends or with much of the LGBT population of New Yor

80 days of HIV

published: October, 05, 2017 Written by // Alex Sparrowhawk Categories // Activism, Social Media, As Prevention , Gay Men, Youth, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Health, International , Treatment, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Alex Sparrowhawk

Alex Sparrowhawk checks in and talks about his new project, "...to show a daily snapshot of life with the virus."

80 days of HIV

I’ve not written anything for a while, or more accurately I have written a lot and left the contents of my ramblings in the draft vaults of WordPress.com. So what’s going on in my life? Well I’ve been dating someone since May and it’s going well enough for us to venture on our first trip away this weekend. Work is good and over the summer I was so proud to see our Can’t Pass It On campaign launch as well as tick off a number of other projects I’ve been working on this year. M

How do you know if someone has HIV?

published: October, 03, 2017 Written by // Billy Santo Categories // Activism, Social Media, Youth, Billy Santo, Health, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces

From The Philippines, out poz guy Billy Santo speaks out on the importance of early testing and treatment.

How do you know if someone has HIV?

How do you know if someone has HIV? You don't. A lot of people who have HIV don't know that they have it. They don't have the slightest idea that they are already carrying it and still continue to engage in risky behaviors. That is why it is important to seek early testing and treatment to diminish harmful effects the virus can cause. If it stays in the body for a long time without medication, the virus can replicate into thousands of copies and can entirely destroy the immune system. Once t

A note to bisexual men in the closet

published: October, 03, 2017 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Mental Health, Revolving Door, International , Guest Authors, Media, Opinion Pieces

Lewis Oakley is a bisexual activist. To mark Bi Visibility Day, Oakley wrote for PinkNews about standing in the face of biphobia in 2017.

A note to bisexual men in the closet

This article by Lewis Oakley previously appeared at Pink News, here Hey lads, Today is an important day and I wanted to send you a message. As Twitter and some decent news sites erupt in a blue, pink and purple celebration of Bi Visibility, I know you can’t show your support for fear someone may find out. Mates that would never accept bisexuality and insist you must be a gay man now. A girlfriend that will be embarrassed and worried your relationship will be seen as a joke by everyone. Fa

AIDS Bureau gets new head

published: September, 30, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Social Media, As Prevention , Current Affairs, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Health, Treatment, Media, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Joanne Lush moves into the position long held by recently retired Frank McGee

 AIDS Bureau gets new head

It was announced last week that the AIDS Bureau - not its official title but the one most commonly used - has a new head. It’s Joanne Lush. This is good news. Joanne steps up to the position previously held by Frank MvGee, who recently retired. (We reported on that here.) Joanne is no stranger to much of this work, having worked at the Bureau since 2003. Prior to that she was the Executive Director of what was then called Peterborough AIDS Resource Network (PARN). I was chair of PARN’s b

The lost art of communication

published: September, 29, 2017 Written by // Michael Yoder Categories // featured, Social Media, Aging, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Michael Yoder

Michael Yoder: "More and more I believe our social isolation (and not just for poz folk) is a symptom of disassociation and disconnection."

The lost art of communication

"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."  -- George Bernard Shaw When I was young, in my 20s, we had no internet or Skype. We had party lines and dial phones or those fancy new push button phones that were all the rage. We didn't have texting or sexting, or Scruff or Grindr, or phones that were used solely for the purpose of taking self-absorbed portraits of our dinners or our faces with duck lips. No, we had much more... We actually talked to

An atheist wonders about praying

published: September, 28, 2017 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Social Media, Aging, Gay Men, Spirituality, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Félix Garmendía

New York guy Félix Garmendía: "One of the things I have learned to understand is the ultimate rule of kindness."

An atheist wonders about praying

As an HIV-positive man who happens to be wheelchair bound, I have been told recently a lot by friends that they are praying for me. Those who are aware of the fact that I am a non believer, immediately follow their kind gesture with an apology like, “I know you are an atheist but...” Atheism is not a religion and I call myself a non believer of the prejudicial, judgmental, bigoted idea of “God”. I have encountered since I was a child, many situations and postures, many of them conf

Revenge amounts to a suicide attempt.

published: September, 27, 2017 Written by // Kimutai Kemboi, Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Social Media, Kimutai Kemboi, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces

Kenya's Kimutai Kemboi speaks against those who would use their HIV as a weapon of revenge.

Revenge amounts to a suicide attempt.

As much as you think of going on a 'revenge mission', bear in your mind that your target might be also undertaking a similar mission. Be careful not to commit suicide! Some people become so bitter when they turn out to be HIV positive, they feel that they should not die alone. Such thoughts are so evil and should be highly condemned. In fact, tough laws should be formulated to prosecute these people with ill minds. I get surprised when I hear someone say, “HIV is not meant for trees but peo

Say goodbye to "risk."

published: September, 27, 2017 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Social Media, As Prevention , Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Mental Health, Health, Revolving Door, International , Treatment, Guest Authors, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces

"Watch your words. Lose the labels if you want to prevent HIV." Enid Vázquez

Say goodbye to

Risky business. Risk taker. High risk. That’s not how people want to be seen when it comes to HIV. In the epidemic, the word “risk” is associated with the notion of “doing something wrong.” So using the words “at risk” becomes risky in itself. It runs the risk of turning people off, and away from prevention messages. People may not avail themselves of condoms or PrEP (the HIV prevention pill) if they don’t identify with risk. If they don’t identify with HIV ris

Going the distance

published: September, 25, 2017 Written by // Wayne Bristow - Positive Life Categories // Social Media, Dating, Aging, Gay Men, International , Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Wayne Bristow

Wayne Bristow on long distance romance: " I can choose to be alone or I can trust this, try to make it work and be happy. I'm already happier."

Going the distance

It may be long distance but I’ve met someone I feel so much closer to than some of the people around me. They say there is someone out there for everyone. And they say love will find you when you least expect it. The only problem with that rhetoric is, they say it like the person is right down the street from me or close by. At last count, and according to what I’ve found online, there are more than 7.5 billion humans on the planet, so where is mine and what in the hell am I doing wrong?

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