The Positive Side

Spring/Summer 2010  

Editor’s Letter

By David McLay

ONE OF MY FAVOURITE PARTS of preparing each issue of The Positive Side is sitting down with people with HIV/AIDS (PHAs) and listening to their stories. PHAs are a resilient bunch, taking some serious knocks but always getting back on their feet with their heads held high. I marvel at the courage I hear in their tales, and this issue is full of courageous stories of PHAs from across the country.

There is courage in the dedication of activist Robyn Pardy, who in the 18 years she’s been living with HIV has stood before countless groups and spoken her truth in her home province of Newfoundland and Labrador and as far away as Africa. Her tireless volunteering — 500 hours in 2007 alone — also caught the attention of Flare magazine, which named her a national volunteer of the year in 2008.

There is courage in the Latino immigrant PHAs who share their stories in Samuel López’s documentary Nuestras Caras, Nuestras Historias. They are a very visible face of HIV in a community that isn’t always comfortable looking at the virus.

There is courage in the three HIV-positive men who tell their stories of being infected with hepatitis C through sex. With the goal of warning their poz brothers, they stare down stigma and put aside their discomfort to talk about some very personal issues.

On a lighter note, it took courage for Tom Hammond to face the cold of an early December morning as he fulfilled his dream of being an Olympic torchbearer.

After listening to all of these stories, and knowing there are countless more lived out every day, when I hear “courageous as a…,” I don’t think lion, I think PHA. As always, send your stars or cherry bombs to me at