The PositiveLite.com team (from left to right): Rob Olver, Wayne Bristow, John McCullagh and Bob Leahy
It’s not surprising that PositiveLite.com —what we called Canada’s online HIV magazine but it was, I’d argue, so much more —came to an end on March 31. It had been going for nine years.
It was a unique model run by people living with HV for people living with HIV. Most people thought we had big offices; in fact, we operated out of our own homes. We were independent in all senses of the word.
L’an dernier, le rassemblement annuel du Réseau canadien autochtone du sida (RCAS) avait pour thème « Transformer les approches holistiques en santé autochtone ».
Ce rassemblement de personnes des Premières Nations, Métis et Inuit combine une réunion d’affaires, une rencontre de personnes autochtones vivant avec le VIH et la conférence « Pratiques sages » sur la recherche.
Mais surtout, c’est un rassemblement de collègues qui sont devenus des amis, de clients qui sont devenus des pairs, de personnes vivant avec le VIH qui sont devenues des leaders communautaires, et de membres d’une grande famille. Des Aînés y accueillent les participants sur leurs terres ancestrales et des enfants sont également présents – les plus jeunes jouent entre eux et les plus âgés apprennent et participent avec leurs mères.
Une bénévole de Victorian AIDS Council à une marche communautaire.
par Brent Allan, Laurel Sprague, Suzy Malhotra and Rebecca Matheson
Les partenariats que nous, personnes vivant avec le VIH, avons forgés avec les chercheurs sont un pilier qui a favorisé l’essor de la riposte au VIH. L’heure est venue de réitérer les principes de l’inclusion et du respect et de s’y réengager, dans la tenue des recherches qui touchent nos vies et la présentation de leurs résultats.
For people living with HIV and their allies, 2017 was a ground-breaking year. It culminated with both the federal and Ontario governments publicly recognizing the need to limit the over-criminalization of HIV in Canada. On World AIDS Day 2017, both acknowledged that criminal prosecution for alleged HIV non-disclosure is not warranted when a person living with HIV has a “suppressed viral load” (i.e., less than 200 copies of HIV/ml of blood) because such an individual poses no “realistic possibility” of transmitting the virus—the Supreme Court’s legal test for whether a duty to disclose exists.
In his famous poem “The Blind Men and the Elephant”, John Godfrey Saxe retells an Indian parable about three blind men who went to see an elephant. Of course, being blind, they could only ‘see’ the elephant by touching it. When asked to describe the elephant, one grabbed it by its trunk and said, “An elephant is like a snake!” The second man took his turn to touch it, pulled it by the leg, and confidently determined, “No, an elephant is like a tree trunk!” The third and final person to touch the elephant grabbed it by its tusks and said, “Tsk, tsk, tsk, you are both wrong: an elephant is smooth, cold and hard.” Each of the men touched the elephant, yet from their perspectives, the experiences of the elephant were totally different.
Thanks to effective anti-HIV treatment, HIV has evolved into a chronic illness. However, people living with HIV often today also live with other physical and mental health conditions, which can be difficult to cope with, especially for those also coping with difficult socio-economic circumstances.
To provide quality care to people living with HIV and other long-term medical and social conditions, health-care providers not only need to ensure that people living with HIV are engaged in quality health care, but we also need to enhance the capacity of Canadian HIV clinics to integrate and coordinate additional resources. By integrating and coordinating resources, we help address the needs of a whole person —needs that often cut across the various disciplines, specialties, sectors and systems that we have traditionally organized care around.
The good news is that through several interconnected research studies, our research team led out of the Bruyère Research Institute in Ottawa has shown that the complex health and social care needs of people living with HIV can be met –and, in fact, are being met –by various care models, settings and teams working in HIV clinics across Canada.
Le Blogue de CATIE présente des perspectives et opinions des personnes et organismes qui travaillent ou collaborent bénévolement à la réponse du Canada au VIH et à l’hépatite C.