The Positive Side

Winter 2015 

Editor's Letter

By Debbie Koenig


If you picked up this magazine because you were intrigued by the disarming smile of the man on the cover, you won’t be disappointed. Meet Murray Jose-Boerbridge, a man with an impressive mind and huge heart. In our cover story, “Crossing the Threshold,” Murray shares his personal journey with HIV—from being diagnosed as a young university grad, to worrying about taking HIV meds, to dreaming of being a father. Now, as a proud dad, he reflects on the life-changing moments that have shaped the man he is today.

Murray draws inspiration from The Lord of the Rings: “Thus it is with thresholds, whether physical or psychological. Once you cross them, everything changes and there is no turning back.” Indeed. Sometimes a threshold is physical, sometimes it’s psychological—and sometimes it’s both. Like an HIV diagnosis or achieving an undetectable viral load.

We explore the latter in Chatty CATIE, to find out what being undetectable actually means for people who are. Four people with HIV chronicle their “road to undetectable,” and their answers might surprise you.

The theme of life-changing events continues with Art Posi+ive’s conceptual artist Shan Kelley, who, like Murray, had ruled out having kids after his diagnosis. He now talks about life as a young dad and using art to subvert stigma. For Elder Claudette Cardinal, our Visual AIDS contributor, transformation began at an inspiring leadership training for HIV-positive women.

Also in this issue: An update on medicinal marijuana in Canada. Darien Taylor makes the case for self-care. And Doug Cook serves up strategies for controlling diabetes. Finally, if you are living with chronic pain, you’ll want to check out Ask the Experts for advice on how to take the edge off.

Whether you read this winter issue over a cup of hot chocolate, curled up under a blanket or while soaking in the tub, we hope you enjoy it! As always, we’d love to hear what you think about the magazine. As the new Positive Side editor, I invite you to drop me a line at