The Positive Side

Summer 2011 

A Decade of Positive Faces

To mark our 10-year anniversary, The Positive Side caught up with the HIV-positive people who have graced our cover.

Interviews by RonniLyn Pustil

We’re feeling nostalgic. Since our first issue in fall/winter 2001, when Aboriginal activist Kecia Larkin posed for the cover just days before giving birth, The Positive Side magazine has covered life with HIV by sharing the stories of those who are living it. Leafing through the past 17 issues, we at CATIE were amazed at all the passionate, courageous, enchanting voices we’ve had the honour of publishing.

You may not know this, but those 17 issues represent only the current incarnation of the publication. Originally a newsletter, The Positive Side was published a full 10 years earlier in 1991 by the Treatment Information Exchange, a fledgling Toronto community group dedicated to sharing between people with HIV what little we knew about HIV at the time. From the start, The Positive Side published holistic health information that expressed the real-life experiences of people living with HIV and, in a tradition that continues today, it often featured a story and photo of an HIV-positive person.

Given that tradition, what better way to celebrate our 10-year (or arguably our 20-year) anniversary than with a rendezvous with our cover folk? We checked in with 24 of our cover subjects to learn about life since we first featured them. Their interviews will surprise and inspire you. So here’s to them and to you, our readers. But most of all, here’s to the day when there’s nothing left to cover but the cure.

In Memoriam

The Positive Side would like to honour the memories of three women who appeared on the cover of the Spring 2003 issue.

Nicole Hicks
Kimberly Johnson
Rhonda Stevens

Françoise Grothé, whose interview appears here, passed away during the preparation of this article.

This issue of the magazine is dedicated to these four women.

The interviews: