The Positive Side

Winter 2010 

Editor’s Letter

By David McLay

SHARING STORIES is one way to put a spotlight on the challenges faced by people living with HIV (PHAs) in Canada. Sharing stories is also a powerful approach to finding ways to face those challenges. In this issue, we are proud to share the stories of PHAs who face their challenges and put the living in “living with HIV.”

In this issue’s cover story, “Path to Healing: Full Circle on the Prairies,” we hear from a group that is increasingly affected by HIV — Aboriginal people. They have been struck hard by the epidemic but they have taken healing into their own hands, as we hear in the stories of three Aboriginal PHAs from Manitoba and Saskatchewan. And, as cover girl Krista Shore of Regina so radiantly shows, this face of HIV can be full of life, love and hope.

Long-term survivor Maggie Atkinson reports on a growing health concern among PHAs — declining neurocognitive function. In “A Mind of Her Own,” she explains how HIV affects the brain and provides advice and insight gleaned firsthand.

Juno-award-winning musician Billy Newton-Davis, arguably one of Canada’s most famous PHAs, has had to face life with HIV in a way few people have — literally in the spotlight. In an exclusive profile by Gerald Hannon, Newton-Davis talks about his life in showbiz and his life with the virus.

Finally, art posi+ive showcases some films created by a group of HIV-positive Montreal youth. Making these movies was so empowering that the young filmmakers started their own HIV film festival.

Thanks for picking up this issue of The Positive Side. In addition to enjoying our stories, we hope you find something that improves your life is some small way — from practical advice on how to handle a rash to an interesting website you didn’t know about. As always, send your stars or cherry bombs to me at