The Positive Side

Winter 2011 

We Asked, You Answered

Last summer, we invited you, readers of The Positive Side, to tell us what you think of the magazine by completing our readership survey. More than 200 of you answered our call. Here’s what you said.

*People could include themselves in more than one category, so the total is greater than 100 percent.

Tell us a bit about yourself

The Positive Side reaches people living with HIV/AIDS (PHAs) and beyond. While a majority of readers are living with HIV or hepatitis C (HCV), the people who work with PHAs (including health-care providers and community workers) also turn to the magazine. Just over half (57 percent) of the respondents were men, with the remainder being women, and eight out of every 10 were older than 40.

What do you like?

Readers told us that the strong PHA voice is the most successful aspect of the magazine because personal stories pass on knowledge and help PHAs feel that they are not alone. And, readers pay it forward: Three-quarters share articles with other people. We love being passed along.

Many readers mentioned that they like the mix of personal stories with holistic health information. The two favourite regular columns are Chatty CATIE and Ask the Experts. We’ll keep it coming with updates on the latest clinical findings, discussions of current health issues and loads of practical advice on how to live well with HIV.

Readers also love the visual aspect of The Positive Side, from the friendly faces of PHAs on the cover to the professional layout and colourful graphics that make the magazine easy to read. We’ve worked hard to keep the pages of the magazine fresh and we’re glad people approve.

What can we do better?

We get fidgety at The Positive Side if we sit on our laurels — they poke our delicate derrieres! — and we know we can do better. Respondents told us to keep providing personal perspective and useful information, and many had suggestions on specific subjects — dealing with the effects of aging, getting access to care, going back to work, and many more. Some people want lighter, more fun articles. There were even suggestions to include a comic strip. We’re listening! We want to continue to reach out to the diverse communities affected by the virus. We’re also looking at how we can make the magazine more responsive and timely.

Although the survey is over, we still want to hear from you. Send your story ideas and comments to or call 1.800.263.1638.