The Positive Side

Fall/Winter 2001 

Editors’ Note

by RonniLyn Pustil and Sean Hosein


Welcome to The Positive Side! For those of you who are new to this CATIE publication, we’re delighted to be in your hands. If you’ve read it before, you’ll notice quite a few changes. Throughout the past two years, CATIE has sought your ideas about your treatment information needs. This “new and improved” Positive Side reflects much of the juicy feedback we’ve heard from you — and we hope you’ll keep letting us know your thoughts.

The Positive Side (PS) started in the early 1990s as a newsletter about complementary therapies for people with HIV/AIDS (PHAs). Now, more than ever, complementary therapy has a new relevance to the lives of PHAs because of the emerging side effects from HIV and from the drugs used to treat it. So, while the focus remains the same, we’ve breathed new life into PS to take a more holistic look at life with HIV/AIDS. To round out your whole treatment management, PS now touches on all of the aspects of your health that need nurturing: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and sexual. Our main message? There may be some things in life — and living with HIV — that are beyond your control, but there are many things you can do to make the best of living with HIV.

Thanks to the many PHAs who share their wit and wisdom throughout these pages, PS now has more personality, and even a bit of sass! Eight months pregnant and on our cover, First Nations activist Kecia Larkin shares the ups and downs of 12 years with HIV. This is one woman who’s not afraid to speak her mind. Some more highlights to look for in this issue: HIV treatment guru Lark Lands delivers her timely and timeless “10 Commandments for Living Long and Well with HIV.” As bone disease is newly topping the list of scary side effects of AIDS drugs, Diana Peabody, Canada’s leading expert on the nutritional needs of PHAs, dispenses nutrition advice for healthy bones. Plus, Gordon Waselnuk reveals how pain led him to discover the benefits of meditation; he also provides a simple guided exercise. If meditation isn’t your cup of herbal tea, why not strike a pose? The feature on yoga includes an interview with PHA yoga student David Spirrill as well as step-by-step instructions for eight postures to try at home. And don’t miss Mama Rossi’s Edible Love — four yummy recipes to fill your belly and nourish your body (be sure to try the apple crisp!).

Along with these new offerings, PS is still chock-full of resource listings (look into buyers clubs and Aboriginal AIDS organizations in this issue), practical information and useful tips to inform and empower your decisions about maintaining your health and well-being. Many of these pointers come from people who are living with HIV/AIDS and, like you, charting its course every day. And because we know how stressful that can be, we asked five PHAs from across the country to share their strategies for stress reduction in the new “Chatty CATIE” section.

So we’ve changed — and more than our hairstyle — and we’re eager to know what you think. Please feel free to drop us a line with your thoughts, ideas and inspirations — and tell other readers what’s worked for you. We’re listening… and so are they.

PS. Breathe.