Opinion Pieces

Life is a puzzle and death is its final piece.

published: June, 29, 2017 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Social Media, Aging, Gay Men, Mental Health, International , Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Félix Garmendía

New York guy Félix Garmendía: "Every day we have left is one more day to dare ourselves to love and be loved."

Life is a puzzle and death is its final piece.

HIV has taught me several things. I actually believe that HIV changed my life forever with a mix of sad and beautiful memories of fighting for my life, after receiving a “death sentence” back in the late 1980s. I mean this literally, I was told over the phone that I had, at the most “6 months to a year to live”. Getting a death sentence is probably one of the most terrifying things I have ever confronted so far. The bleak circumstances surrounding my death sentence were very poignan

Then and now... the transition!

published: June, 26, 2017 Written by // Kimutai Kemboi, Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Social Media, Kimutai Kemboi, Youth, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces

Kenya's Kimutai Kemboi: "I am where I am today being whom I am because of opening up, speaking about myself to the people around me."

Then and now... the transition!

I used to hear that situations are not permanent but had not believed it until it happened to me. It has been a long journey but today I confidently say, 'those days'. It was not easy as such but it took a strong heart, believing in myself and keeping a focus on the dreams I had since my childhood! These have been the pillars of my achievement. Sometimes I look at myself and smile, not because I am funny but at how I managed to overcome the situations I was in. Today I am living a free life t

Stigma Stings

published: June, 22, 2017 Written by // CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource Categories // African, Caribbean and Black, Social Media, Mental Health, Women, CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource, Health, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces

From CATIE's Positive Side, Kath Webster speaks to three women who face stigma with courage and resilience.

Stigma Stings

Last January, my partner and I flew to Mexico for a vacation. On Day 1, out of the blue, I was stung by stigma. While swimming in the Pacific Ocean, I put my foot down, expecting to feel the soft sand, and instead stepped on a stingray, which spurred an excruciating sting and deep wound. At the local clinic, I considered disclosing my HIV status, but this was a small Catholic town and I didn’t want to face people’s judgment or, worse, not be treated at all. So I decided against it. The do

What’s happening on the ground: first voice perspectives of the overdose crisis in Atlantic Canada

published: June, 22, 2017 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Social Media, Conferences, Hep B and C, General Health, Current Affairs, Health, Revolving Door, Guest Authors, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces

Guest author Michael Liddell: "... people who use drugs and their allies are using the mantra of 'nothing about us without us' to organize and demand action."

What’s happening on the ground: first voice perspectives of the overdose crisis in Atlantic Canada

At the opening of the 25th Harm Reduction International Conference in Montreal held in Montreal in May of this year, the Federal Minister of Health Jane Philpott announced that more people have died in the overdose epidemic in the past few years than during the height of the AIDS crisis in the late 80s and early 90s. This fact is made even more tragic considering that it need not happen. This grim reality was on the minds of many and was the catalyst for a workshop hosted by Direction 180

The true love story behind Larry Kramer’s novel ‘Faggots’

published: June, 21, 2017 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Social Media, Aging, Activism, Gay Men, Arts and Entertainment, International , Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Mark S. King

Mark S. King with a fascinating glimpse of activist icon Larry Kramer's softer side.

The true love story behind Larry Kramer’s novel ‘Faggots’

Larry Kramer, Kelsey Louie of GMHC, Mark S. King, and Larry’s husband, David Webster. (Photo: Nathan Perkel) The new POZ Magazine feature article, “Finding Larry Kramer,” tells the behind-the-scenes story of how the iconic activist found his way back to GMHC nearly thirty years after the organization kicked him out for being such a pain in the ass. It is an intimate look at an American hero and lion in winter. I had the pleasure of writing the story, which meant meeting both Larry an

How I deal with my problems

published: June, 20, 2017 Written by // Billy Santo Categories // Social Media, Youth, Mental Health, Billy Santo, Health, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces

From the Philippines, Billy Santo on the virtues of keeping life simple.

How I deal with my problems

I can get by even if I have no money. It matters, but it’s not everything. I am used to problems because I’ve had enough of them already and I’ve been at my lowest. I can endure a single day without food because I know how it feels to have no food to eat for almost a week. I can sleep in any house without complaint because I’ve experienced sleeping in the streets. I can go out without having to worry about what brand my clothes are because I only had one uniform in college that I bare

Trump doesn't care about HIV. We're outta here.

published: June, 20, 2017 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Social Media, African, Caribbean and Black, Gay Men, As Prevention , General Health, Current Affairs, Youth, Newly Diagnosed, Mental Health, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Women, Health, Revolving Door, International , Treatment, Legal, Guest Authors, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces

Six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) have resigned. From Newsweek, Scott A. Schoettes has this report.

Trump doesn't care about HIV. We're outta here.

To read the complete article by Scott A. Schoettes, visit Newsweek, here. Five of my colleagues and I resigned this week from the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). As advocates for people living with HIV, we have dedicated our lives to combating this disease and no longer feel we can do so effectively within the confines of an advisory body to a president who simply does not care. The Trump Administration has no strategy to address the on-going HIV/AIDS epidemic, seeks z

The intersection between clinic law and health: responding to issues faced by people with HIV

published: June, 16, 2017 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Activism, African, Caribbean and Black, Social Media, Gay Men, Current Affairs, Women, Revolving Door, Legal, Guest Authors, Media, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific

HALCO's Ryan Peck:"The fact is that rights, especially for marginalized communities, are constantly under attack."

The intersection between clinic law and health: responding to issues faced by people with HIV

Note: This speech was presented by Ryan Peck, Executive Director of the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO) upon accepting the Legal Aid Ontario 2016 Sidney B. Linden Award. Before focusing on what we at HALCO humbly refer to as holistic and revolutionary (or at least incremental reformist) lawyering, as well as on legal injustices facing people with HIV, I pay tribute to the countless who are no longer with us. HALCO was founded in a dark time. Death was an everyday experience and p

Those offended by #NoJusticeNoPride should learn LGBT history.

published: June, 15, 2017 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Community Events, African, Caribbean and Black, Activism, Social Media, Gay Men, Current Affairs, International , Legal, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Mark S. King

Mark S. King: on the racist LGBT response to #NoJusticeNoPride

Those offended by #NoJusticeNoPride should learn LGBT history.

No Justice No Pride protesters blocking the Capital Pride Parade. (Photo: Dylan Comstock) Hell hath no fury like a privileged white gay man who has waited too long for the next pride parade contingent to sashay by. When #NoJusticeNoPride blocked the DC Pride parade route on June 10, causing an hour delay to an already epic three-hour parade, you could hear the ice cubes impatiently rattling in Bloody Mary glasses for blocks. Revelers at three locations on the route were forced to co

Chatty CATIE: What is the one thing you wish you had known when you were first diagnosed with HIV?

published: June, 15, 2017 Written by // CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource Categories // Social Media, As Prevention , General Health, Mental Health, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Newly Diagnosed, Features and Interviews, Health, CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource, Treatment, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces

And, what advice would you have for someone newly diagnosed? For CATIE, RonniLyn Pustil interviews two people living with HIV.

Chatty CATIE: What is the one thing you wish you had known when you were first diagnosed with HIV?

BRITTANY CAMERON, 31 Peterborough, Ontario People living with HIV engagement worker, PARN Diagnosed with HIV: 2006, at 36 weeks pregnant I wish I had known that it would be OK. That I wasn’t the first HIV-positive woman to give birth, and I wouldn’t be the last. That HIV-positive women can and do have HIV-negative babies. That one day, advocating for women with HIV to have babies would become a passion of mine and I would inspire other positive women to have babies of their own. I

U=U’s naysayer moments

published: June, 13, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Activism, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy says working on the U = U campaign has had its highs and lows. It’s achieved incredible success but detractors are out there also, sometimes with intelligent, thoughtful ideas, sometimes less so. This is about the less so.

U=U’s naysayer moments

Guilty as charged? The Undetecable = Untransmittable campaign has enjoyed a lot of success  – more so in fact than any campaign I've witnessed in 20 years of advocacy work. The term #uequalsu has become ubiquitous, part of the HIV lexicon, Over 270 community partners have adopted the slogan as their own in 25 countries. The number grows daily.    This is remarkable. In an age where the response to HIV has been largely taken out of the community’s hands, instead becoming institutionali

U=U and the overly-broad criminalization of HIV nondisclosure

published: June, 13, 2017 Written by // CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource Categories // Activism, Social Media, African, Caribbean and Black, As Prevention , Gay Men, Current Affairs, Youth, Treatment Guidelines -including when to start, Women, Health, CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource, Treatment, Legal, Media, Opinion Pieces

From CATIE Blog, Nicholas Caivano and Sandra Ka Hon Chu give their take on the legal ramifications of Undetectable = Untransmittable (U = U).

U=U and the overly-broad criminalization of HIV nondisclosure

People living with HIV in Canada have been charged with some of the most serious offences in the Criminal Code, even in cases of consensual sex where there was negligible or no risk of HIV transmission, no actual transmission and no intent to transmit. The Undetectable=Untransmittable (“U=U”) campaign is based on scientific research, including the ground-breaking PARTNER study, establishing that when a person living with HIV on treatment maintains an undetectable viral load for at least

CAS hits a home run with a successful Forum

published: June, 12, 2017 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Activism, Conferences, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

The Canadian AIDS Society (CAS) Forum for people living with HIV held in Regina last week was a much needed win for an embattled national organization fighting for its very existence

CAS hits a home run with a successful Forum

View from a hotel window. "Regina might not be the most exciting city in Canada" says publisher Bob Leahy "but it played host to a solid conference that re-established CAS as a force to be reckoned with." The Canadian AIDS Society (CAS) went into last week’s national Forum for People Living with HIV needing a victory. It has had a history, after all, of meetings that left many frustrated, if not angry. As well, it is currently on what some would see as life support from the Public Health Ag

People with HIV have impaired respiratory health, even when viral load is undetectable

published: June, 08, 2017 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Social Media, General Health, Health, Revolving Door, International , Smoking Cessation , Guest Authors, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces

From AIDSmap, Michael Carter reports on a study that explores the relationship between HIV infection and respiratory health in the modern ART era.

People with HIV have impaired respiratory health, even when viral load is undetectable

HIV-positive people have impaired respiratory health, even when they have viral suppression with antiretroviral therapy (ART), investigators from London report in HIV Medicine. Respiratory health was compared between HIV-positive and HIV-negative outpatients. Individuals with HIV had poorer respiratory health and were more likely to report breathlessness than HIV-negative participants, findings which remained unchanged when analysis focused on ART-treated HIV-positive people with an undetec

Ed Wolf's journal of the Trump years for June: as the darkness descends.

published: June, 08, 2017 Written by // Ed Wolf Categories // Social Media, Activism, Aging, Gay Men, Current Affairs, Mental Health, Ed Wolf, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces

Long-time activist Ed Wolf: "Trump may bring out the narrow-minded hate in other people, but he’s bringing out the best in me. See you in the streets!"

Ed Wolf's journal of the Trump years for June: as the darkness descends.

Day 42. Follow the Witches The recount failed to stop him, the Electoral College raised our hopes, but the darkness of his presidency continues to descend. What can we do with the ache of it, the anger, the grief and the fear? Follow the witches! Go to the ocean, the plain, the mountain, a place where you can watch the sun set into the longest night. Sing to it, cry to it, whisper to it, dance before it, ask it to return to help us through the darkening paths ahead. And then watch it rise tom

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