Reflections of award-winning HIV activist, Bob Leahy. U=U guru. Change-maker. All round rabble-rouser.
HIV activism dramatically changes lives. But it takes an impassioned type to transform them. To push back and make noise. To tirelessly pursue this sort of change takes courage, tenacity and a deep understanding of issues. James Watson sits down with celebrated HIV activist Bob Leahy, who at 75 is the very embodiment of the courageous and determined spirit of HIV activism. Listen in to this candid conversation about the HIV sector, U=U, aging and what's next for this self-described, "largely retired activist."
Our episode guest
'Largely retired' HIV Activist & Change-Maker
UK born, Bob emigrated to Canada in 1971 and was diagnosed with HIV in 1993. He left his banking career and went on long term disability. Bob then started volunteering across the HIV sector – from engaging in the workings and governance of organizations including the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT), the Peterborough AIDS Resource Network (PARN), The Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN), and the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS). Bob was also the publisher and editor of PositiveLite.com a peer run, online Canadian magazine. Vocal advocate for older adults living with HIV; direct and transformative impact as Canada’s leading champion of U=U. Bop’s awards include: the Casey House Award, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and has been inducted into the Ontario AIDS Network Honour Roll.
Glass half full or glass half empty? Glass is half full.
Be embarrassed or be afraid? Be afraid.
Visual learner or verbal learner? Visual learner.
Logic or emotion? Logic.
Pause time or rewind time? Rewind.
A few episode extras...
Youth are increasingly affected by HIV, with new infections in their age group on the rise. Older people with HIV are also a group rapidly increasing in number as the HIV population ages. The two groups seldom interact. That is a significant lost opportunity.
A long-time survivor, and writer on all things HIV, Bob shares some intergenerational wisdom, from his blog story, Two Major Assets We Overlook in Our Quest to End AIDS. As a seventy-something approaching the end of his advocacy career, Bob writes that he’s seen what works. Here are his 6 practical tips he especially shares with today’s youth…
Check out even more insight, perspective and commentary by Bob in POZ, the leading print and online journal for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.