As the year winds to a close and we reflect on the past year, we’re looking back at all the important news shared through the CATIE Blog in 2018.
Since its launch over four years ago, the CATIE Blog has published news and opinions from a broad range of people engaged in Canada’s response to HIV and hepatitis C. This year, these are the topics that gained the most traction with our readers.
1. “AIDS 2018: The good and the bad” by Sean Hosein
At this year’s International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we witnessed several pivotal developments in the global HIV response. We also saw some setbacks in our efforts to prevent infections and improve the lives of people living with HIV.
2. “Love Positive Women: why a fulfilling sexual life with HIV matters” by Allison Carter, Jessica Whitbread and Angela Kaida
What contributes to changes in women’s sexual functioning, feelings, and behaviour after diagnosis? According to a 2017 review of 32 studies, medical factors are the least likely culprits. Instead, findings point to social oppression, with important links found between several aspects of sexuality and stigma, violence, poverty and depression, among other social stressors.
3. “Learning from Saskatchewan’s HIV emergency” by Susanne Nicolay
HIV and hepatitis C are symptoms of much larger issues in Saskatchewan. I believe that these issues are related at least in part to what I perceive to be long-standing racism towards Indigenous people. Indigenous peoples in Saskatchewan are disproportionately affected by many chronic health issues, including HIV. To many of us who have been working in this field for a number of years, these health disparities can be connected to a lack of political acknowledgement and political will regarding this current public health emergency in HIV.
4. “No more excuses: people have the right to know about U=U” by John McCullagh
It’s difficult to overstate the power of this message for people with HIV, such as myself, because it changes what it means to live with HIV. It opens up social, sexual and reproductive choices we and our sexual partners never thought would be possible. It encourages those of us with HIV to start and stay on treatment to keep both us and our sexual partners healthy. It’s an opportunity to transform how we see ourselves, how we’re perceived by our families and friends, by our current or potential sexual partners, and by people in general.
5. “Beyond stigma: Challenging STBBI stigma in the classroom” by Brittany Neron and Makeda Zook
The standard of sex ed that is taught across Canada is uneven, and even when it is scientifically accurate, it is often delivered in a risk- and fear-based way, particularly when it comes to teaching young people about safer sex and sexual transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs).
There were so many other wonderful articles on the blog this year! CATIE wishes to thank all our partners and friends for their contributions. Are you interested in contributing to the CATIE Blog in 2019? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing your ideas!