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More Plus Side

Monday, 21 September 2015 Written by // Josh Categories // Josh, Living with HIV

Toronto guy Josh with an exciting announcement about a new podcast, The Plus Side of Life, and more

More Plus Side

An exciting announcement 

Tonight’s post is brief, but I wanted to share some news with you. 

I’ve been thinking about ways to expand my site and share the stories of HIV positive people with a broader audience. Something I had in the back of my mind for some time now is the idea of doing a podcast. After doing a lot of research, a little bit of planning and a whole lot of winging it, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be launching the Plus Side of Life podcast next month. 

It will be a monthly series, where I’ll talk more about my own story, share the latest in HIV/AIDS news and research, and (if I can find guests) interviews with other positive people. I hope it’s something that you’ll listen to, and help shape into something that can maybe become a resource and tool for others. 

If you have ideas for episodes, feel free to email me using the contact page on the site, leave a comment below or tweet me @PlusSideofLife

I hope you’ll check it out. More details will be posted here soon.


I’m here 

When I started this blog back in November of 2014, I didn’t expect much. To be honest, I thought it would be my little corner of the internet where I could share my thoughts and feelings anonymously; maybe one or two people would find it from time-to-time and if they did, great. But it was something I started for me. 

Since then, I’ve been somewhat surprised about how many people are reading and/or following the blog. And not to sound too self-centred or like I’m an expert, but in the past few months, I’ve seen a huge influx in emails from people in similar situations to me — recently diagnosed with HIV, and a little uncertain of what’s next. For me, hearing your stories has been so valuable. It’s let me know that I’m not alone in this world, and I hope that you know that neither are you. 

The point of this post is relatively simple. I just want anyone reading this to know that I am here and I’m always willing to be a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen to whatever is on your mind. I’m not an expert and I might not have any answers for you, but if you need to talk to someone who is living the experiences you are having, the contact page will get you in touch with me. I do respond to all emails (albeit sometimes a few days after I receive them), and as I said — I may not have answers, but I’ll be here. 


It feels like a setback 

I got a letter in the mail today. In and of itself, that’s an exciting event because it’s 2015 and I never get mail anymore (aside from my many online shopping for book adventures). This piece of mail came from the hospital where my doctor’s office is located. 

I figured that it would be another fundraising campaign; they had sent me a few before, and I’d always just ignored them. But it was a thick envelope. I opened it to find a letter from my doctor and a bunch of forms. 

“I will be leaving the practice…” was the only line to catch my eye, and my heart dropped into my stomach. 

I haven’t had long to digest this news, but it’s upsetting to me and it feels like it is a setback. It feels like a setback because I was just getting started with this doctor, and building trust and now it feels like it’s all been yanked away. In a way, it feels like I’m going back to those days after I was diagnosed when I had no clue what was coming next. 

Now, there is already a new doctor taking over for the one I have now. I’m sure I’ll be in good hands. But it’s back to having to build that trust and relationship with someone new about a pretty intimate subject: my health. It’s scary and I feel very anxious right now. 

I know that I’m partly being unfair. I’m being selfish. I’m being a bit silly. But in this moment, losing my doctor and having to start from what feels like scratch is very, very scary. It’s too soon in this journey to be starting over (I know, I know – still being selfish).