The Positive Side

Summer 2011 

Devan Nambiar (Spring/Summer 2004)

Age: 50
Toronto
Education coordinator at Rainbow Health Ontario
Living with HIV for 22 years
CD4 count: 500
Viral load: undetectable

“A free spirit living a human experience.”

How would you describe your health?
Good, with all the joys of getting wiser.

Are you experiencing any specific issues around HIV or your treatment?
The biggest challenge is monitoring my cholesterol levels and maintaining my bone health. It is tiresome to always be conscientious of what I eat. My regimen of exercises (resistance training, cardio and yoga), meditation, spiritual practice and healthy diet is crucial to my well-being.

You were on the cover of the Spring / Summer 2004 issue, for a feature story about long-term survivors. Now, six years later, you’re being interviewed for this magazine again. How does that feel?
I am living as fully as possible. Life is what you make of it, whether you’re HIV positive or negative.

Since you appeared on the cover in 2004, what has changed for you personally?
I work in the LGBT sector, am completing my studies in Addictions at McMaster University and write a blog for www.positivelite.com. I climbed the Himalayas to two of the oldest Hindu temples, Badrinath and Kedarnath, at 11,200 feet. I wrote about the trip in my blog. I am deepening my spiritual practices and taking language classes in Hindi and Sanskrit.

In one word, describe this moment in AIDS.
Optimistic.

In 10 years…
Hmm… at 60 — Living by the seaside with my man, Michael, and my cat, Vishnu, more time for my spiritual practices and spending more time with my family.

What song is the soundtrack of your life?
“Lalita Sahasranama” (a sacred Hindu text).