Opinion Pieces

Two year anniversary?

published: June, 16, 2014 Written by // Joshua Middleton Categories // Health, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Joshua Middleton

Joshua Middleton “In a matter of an instant my life had changed, at the time I thought for the worst, however I soon found out that the lessons this virus would soon teach me would be invaluable."

Two year anniversary?

Today marks a very significant day in my journey with HIV, two years ago today I received the news that I am HIV positive. I had so many thoughts going through my head, so many emotions, I didn’t know how I would carry on to the next day let alone years later. I was still learning what being positive entailed, broken inside, and confused as what were the next steps to take. The Fifth of June for me was filled with tears, anguish, and distress. I still get emotional to this day about the ev

Transmission risks

published: June, 14, 2014 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // As Prevention , Research, Health, Revolving Door, International , Treatment, Guest Authors, Opinion Pieces

From aidsmap.com comes news of further analysis of heterosexual couples that indicates transmission risk where the viral load is undetectable may not be zero, but could be.

Transmission risks

This article first appeared in HIV Update from aidsmap.com.  Two weeks ago HIV update reported on an analysis which showed that even if the risk of HIV transmission during one sexual act is relatively small, the risk can accumulate over time for a couple who have sex regularly. The analysis suggested that effective HIV treatment provides more protection than condoms, but combining both strategies is safer. But when couples (where one person has HIV and the other doesn’t) have sex regularly

Who would I be without HIV?

published: June, 13, 2014 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Gay Men, Health, Revolving Door, Guest Authors, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific

Does HIV define you? From FS Magazine: “While HIV may not define me as much as it did twelve years ago, it did one thing that an HIV-free life never did. It gave me a reason to live.”

Who would I be without HIV?

This article by Kristian Johns first appeared in FS Magazine, a publication of GMFA  here.   In the last six months, it seems we don’t go a week without a new headline or article heralding the ‘dawn of a new era’ in HIV treatment.The headlines scream: “Genetically Engineered HIV Antibodies Have Potent Impact”,“HIV’s ‘Invisibility Cloak’ Discovered”, “Palindromic ‘Junk DNA’ Could Hold The Key To Curing AIDS”. And on the domestic front, medication is getting bett

Fear .

published: June, 12, 2014 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Gay Men, General Health, Health, Revolving Door, Guest Authors, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific

Guest writer Felix Garmendia says fear took over his life as a result of a serious illness and he needed to find happiness again. But, he says, "I redefined my life with the positivity that's going to give me the tool to never again feel afraid of living"

Fear  .

I have been HIV-positive since at least 1986. By this point in my life, I have encountered lots of bad news regarding my health, a fair amount of opportunistic infections, and my worst health challenge, a condition called “Inclusion Body Myositis”. This condition has diminished my mobility.  It all started 13 years ago, when I tried to do a regular exercise in the gym and I wasn’t capable of finishing it. That day, I had a feeling something was wrong. In the beginning, we thought it w

World Pride sponsor a Trojan horse?

published: June, 11, 2014 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Community Events, Pride, Activism, Gay Men, Sexual Health, Health, Revolving Door, Guest Authors, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Sex and Sexuality

Mark Hammon of the AIDS Committee of Durham Region says Trojan Condoms, an official sponsor of World Pride in Toronto, is dictating what kind of condoms can be distributed at Pride events and it's only their own brand. Make HIV sense?

World Pride sponsor a Trojan horse?

From the AIDS Committee of Durham Region Facebook page here.  Mark Hammann, our Manager of Education, was asked to speak at Queerstock Festival last night. Here's his speech:  I asked that we remember the history of Pride. I shared my concerns that we should hold corporations that sponsor our Pride events around the world accountable and to uphold the true spirit and meaning behind Pride. With particular focus on Toronto pride sponsor, Trojan Condoms.  Here it is:  Today I say to you

Do less, be more

published: June, 11, 2014 Written by // Daniel Uy Categories // Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Daniel Uy

Daniel Uy says cut down your hours and you’ll feel happier and better about yourself

Do less, be more

This came up in a class yesterday and I think it needs repeating today. If you want to have a happier life, never do as much as you can.  It's funny because when I said it in the conversation, everyone laughed as if the idea is funny. It’s almost like someone who works 70 hourrs a week and doesn’t take lunch breaks is suddenly a better person than someone who works 60 hours. And then there’s the fellow who rushes in saying “yes, well I worked 80 hours last week and my mother had a

Same old story

published: June, 10, 2014 Categories // Women, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific

Olivia Kijewski on the violent acts, like those of Elliot Rodger, that shed a light on a manifest of social problems

I’m sure you’re probably sick of hearing/reading about Elliot Rodger. Fair enough. But I’m sick of hearing about misogynists who have killed women out of their perceived loss of power and their sense of entitlement to our bodies: The Montreal Massacre, the Pittsburgh man who opened fire in a gym in 2009 because of his hatred of women, the boy who stabbed a girl last month for refusing to go to prom with him, and of course the recent case of Elliot Rodger, just to name a few.  Not only

Was I a teenage predator?

published: June, 09, 2014 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Youth, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Sex and Sexuality , Mark S. King

Child sexual abuse or not? Mark S. King recalls sexual encounters with men in his youth where he still doesn’t feel like the victim

Was I a teenage predator?

We’re on a dirt road in the cotton fields, sitting in the back of his Plymouth. It had been my idea to stop and look at the sky, and it doesn’t come off like a sneaky move now, because the moon is full and bright and gorgeous. I’ve been playing along but I wish he would make his move. This is the part that’s always kind of boring. He’s nice, though, and good looking, maybe around 35.  It’s a balmy Louisiana night in 1975. And I’m fourteen years old.  Everything goes as planne

Help Wanted: unemployment and HIV

published: June, 09, 2014 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Health, Revolving Door, Lifestyle, Guest Authors, Opinion Pieces

From POZ magazine “When you're suddenly unemployed your HIV care can rapidly become a lesser significance as you shift into survival mode during your jobless state.”

Help Wanted: unemployment and HIV

The full text of this article by Aundaray Guess first appeared on POZ here.   Times are tough in this country for everyone (well maybe not for the 'one-percenters') but the rest of us continue to endure a tough economy. Living with HIV can sometimes be difficult enough but the added uncertainty of unemployment sometimes makes it seem life is working against you. I lived through this emotion myself as the organization I worked for faced decreasing revenue. I was a great performer but when c

Educated guesses on long-term HIV transmission risks include treatment more effective as prevention than condoms

published: June, 07, 2014 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // Research, Sexual Health, Health, Revolving Door, International , Guest Authors, Opinion Pieces

Aidsmap reports a group of American researchers have published an analysis which attempts to estimate the long-term risks of HIV being passed on within a couple.

Educated guesses on long-term HIV transmission risks include treatment more effective as prevention than condoms

This article previously appeared in aidsmap.com’s HIV Update. For more detail go here.  This was a mathematical modelling study – in other words, it does not report new findings from a study of couples in the real world. Instead, modelling studies use previous research findings, assumptions and mathematical techniques to simulate a sequence of likely future events.  Their findings show that even if the risk of HIV being passed on during one sexual act is relatively small, the risk can

To disclose or not to disclose: that is the question

published: June, 05, 2014 Written by // Joshua Middleton Categories // Dating, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Joshua Middleton

Joshua Middleton says of potential partners "My position on disclosure is that as long as you are not engaging in sex, disclosure is not necessary. "

To disclose or not to disclose: that is the question

This article previously appeared on Joshua’s own blog positivehope.com here.   Living with HIV is hard enough ito come to terms with ourselves. However informing others of our status can be an equally if not more difficult task. Some are afraid of how people will react, others face violence or being ostracized and some could possibly face legal/criminal recourse if they do not disclose in a timely manner. So when is the right time to disclose? I think it's safe to say when we speak abou

Fuck Facebook - continuing on the path to serenity

published: June, 05, 2014 Written by // Brian Finch - Founder Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Living with HIV, Media, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Brian Finch

Brian Finch finds one social media site is particularly annoying – but the question is "can he give it up?"

Fuck Facebook - continuing on the path to serenity

“Oh honey, if it disrupts your serenity get rid of it.” These are wise words from my I-can’t-tell-you-what-anonymous group sponsor. It really can be that simple. But how long does it take to truly learn and act upon these wise words?  The struggle of getting pot out of my life was definitely disrupting my serenity. I had to get rid of it. The social isolation, the constant fogginess, even poorer memory, and constantly making plans with no follow through was only making me unhappy. 

World Pride Toronto: What I’m excited for!

published: June, 04, 2014 Categories // Pride, Gay Men, Events, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific

Rodney Rousseau with a budget-minded guide to his personal highlights of the World Pride program

World Pride Toronto: What I’m excited for!

Pride has been a grand event in Toronto for as long as I’ve been able to attend, but this year Toronto is hosting World Pride from June 20-29, and about two million people are expected to attend. The expensive event lineup including galas with $1,000 seat tickets has me a bit overwhelmed with my tight student budget, so I’ve started planning early. So, I’ve decided to share (particularly for the budget-minded) some of what I’m looking forward to:  First off, the University of Toronto

Gazing into the future

published: June, 02, 2014 Categories // Opinion Pieces

Ken Monteith looks ten years down the road and envisions our response to HIV in 2024. Still no cure, he thinks, but he sees an end to HIV transmissions.in his province.

Gazing into the future

A few weeks ago, my organization was approached by a journalist with a unique assignment. Her newspaper was preparing a special section on the future of Québec and her portion of that was to write about health issues. Would we like to talk to her about our vision of HIV in Québec in 2024? We leapt aboard. All we saw of the piece, after an afternoon of reflection as a team and an interview that lasted at least a half hour, was a two-liner in the online edition that managed to get my name wr

Ten things HIV positive guys want negative guys to know

published: June, 02, 2014 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Gay Men, Health, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Mark S. King

Mark S. King says let’s give HIV-positive gay men the chance to set the record straight, and break down ten things they would like the rest of us to know

Ten things HIV positive guys want negative guys to know

When Donald Sterling dissed Magic Johnson for being promiscuous and unworthy, it was nothing new for people living with HIV. They’ve heard it all over the years. A lot of those misconceptions persist today, even (or maybe especially) among gay men. Our attitudes can be hurtful, stigmatizing, and even contradictory.  Let’s give HIV-positive gay men the chance to set the record straight, and break down ten things they would like the rest of us to know. This list may not represent the views

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