27 Feb 2015

Health : “On PrEP? HRC Wants To Know!”

Catégorie: Health

(This post was written by Noel Gordon at HRC)

Building on our endorsement of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) late last year, HRC is proud to launch a new social and digital media campaign raising awareness about PrEP and encouraging people on PrEP to share their stories with friends, family and loved ones.

Participate in HRC’s #DailyBlue Instagram campaign with these three easy steps:

  1. Show Us: Take a picture of your life on PrEP. Be creative. Be silly. Be funny. Be SFW. Just be sure to include that little blue pill somewhere in the photo.
  2. Tell Us: Upload your picture to Instagram. In just a few words, tell us who or what encouraged you to go on PrEP in the first place. Be sure to tag @HumanRightsCampaign and use the hashtag #DailyBlue.
  3. Spread the Word: Share your photo with your friends, family and loved ones to raise awareness and end stigma.

PrEP is a new HIV prevention strategy that involves taking anti-HIV medication to significantly reduce the risk of contracting HIV. When taken as prescribed by a knowledgeable healthcare provider, and paired with other safer sex practices, PrEP can be upwards of 90% effective at preventing HIV. Several LGBT and HIV/AIDS groups have come out in support of PrEP since the Food and Drug Administration first approved it in 2012.

Interested in learning more about PrEP? Be sure to check out our “Six Must-Read Articles about PrEP” and tips for “How to Talk to Your Provider about PrEP.

Noel Gordon

16 Feb 2015

Health : HIV Stigma ; It’s Coming From Inside The House!

Catégorie: Health

(Written by Ken Monteith at PositiveLite.com )

 

My headline probably isn’t going to win me any friends. It’s conventional wisdom that stigma is one of the biggest problems we face in the fight against HIV — stigma related to HIV itself, and stigma related to the ways that HIV is commonly transmitted (we still can’t talk openly about sex and drugs after all this time and all these ruined lives). Stigma is the thing that keeps us from being able to communicate prevention messages to those who need to hear them, and stigma is the thing that leads to discrimination against people with HIV that plays out in criminal charges, denied jobs, rejection by those around us.

But I have to ask how much of that is real and how much is anticipated and built up in our heads. Oh, I have no doubt that there are experiences of discrimination and that people have to live through bad experiences because of the unfounded fears and ignorance of others. But do we all?

Let me be the first to point out the privileged positions from which I can issue such speculation — I’m an educated, fully employed white man in a society built for educated and employed white men. Oh yes, and my employer being an AIDS organization, it won’t be my status that gets me sidelined from there.

26 Jan 2015

Health: THE CHASER’S TALE – PART TWO

Catégorie: Health

a 3d rendering of Red blood cells inside the vein.

 

(This post was written by Bob Leahy at PositiveLite.com)

Read part one here.

Bob Leahy: We left off the story with the incident in which you became infected. So you walked out of the door. How did you feel? It must have been kind of momentous, no?

Joseph Sinnott: It didn’t feel momentous at the time. I knew what had happened . . . Let me put it another way. I received blood slams from two different guys and I was invited by them to their places. And yet afterwards, I never heard from either of them – and that surprised me. Certainly I was not expecting support, or a long term relationship or even a friendship but at least some recognition. . . . because for me there was an intimacy to it.

It sounded almost like a conception.

Well in online conversations, both bug-chasers and gift-givers refer to it as the male equivalent of conception.

So you expected at least loose bonds between you and the father figure – the gift-giver?

I expected something other than silence. One of them eliminated himself from my circle of contacts. The other guy, we did have a one-time exchange of emails.

But when you think about it, can you understand their position?

Yes; again I was just looking for more than silence.

25 Jan 2015

Health: THE CHASER’S TALE – PART ONE

Catégorie: Health

a 3d rendering of Red blood cells inside the vein.

 

(This post was written by Bob Leahy at PositiveLite.com)

I first met Joseph at an HIV conference in Toronto in October. Earnest, polite and well spoken, but with fierce looking facial piercings and black painted fingernails that give him an activist’s edge, Joseph is clearly a thoughtful, well-educated man who finds himself on a journey he is still trying to fully understand.

We had first asked him to write about his experiences, including his motivation for seeking to become poz – commonly called bug chasing. And he did so for PositiveLite.com here.  The story he told is both fascinating and difficult to comprehend for those who have not walked in his shoes. More importantly, it begged to be told in more detail. I wanted to know more about why Joseph wanted to become poz, about the role crystal meth played (or not), about who he did it with and how. How did it feel? Was he tuned on? All these questions and more he answered frankly and openly over lunch in Toronto one day last week.

I asked tough questions, but my intent was not to be judgemental here but rather to comprehend. Joseph is fully aware that not all will approve of or even understand his actions. His need, as he started in his last article, is to provoke thought – his own and that of others – on why we do what we do.

Bob: Joseph, the first thing I wanted to talk about was your decision to become poz. When did that thought first occur to you?

Joseph: I appreciate the opportunity for this conversation, Bob. But before we begin, I want to emphasize that I’m describing and interpreting my own experience. I don’t in any way want to model behaviour, nor do I want to glamourize or romanticize or eroticize or fetishize or otherwise encourage or promote bug chasing and, especially, meth use.

27 Dec 2014

Health : Will Gays Donate Blood?

Catégorie: Health

blood

You may have heard on the news today that the FDA is making some changes to the ban on men who have had sexual contact with other men since 1977 from donating blood. However, the proposed changes are not what I or others were expecting.

The original ban was started in 1983 as a result of the AIDS epidemic. Almost 32 years later, the ban is still in place. Back then, the ban made sense. HIV/AIDS was so rampant and there was little known about the virus/disease and they banned the group that it was hitting the most; men who were having sex with men.

More than just a week away from 2015, the ban is archaic and discriminatory. MSM, as it is now known, is not just the only group of people that are at risk for HIV/AIDS. EVERYONE is at risk.

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