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ACT launches education campaign for HIV-positive youth

ACT launches education campaign for HIV-positive youth

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New book tackles issues of safe sex, disclosure
A new campaign from the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) is reaching out to a group that hears a lot about prevention but doesn't hear much of what it's like to live with HIV/AIDS.

PozYouth is aimed at the hundreds of young Canadians who have been diagnosed - and those who haven't, yet. The group aims to expand on the increasingly common trope that "it isn't a death sentence anymore," explaining to those who fear they have nothing to look forward to that "it isn't a death sentence for your sex life, either."

ACT prepared a book, My Sex Life, that addresses the ins and outs of having a healthy sex life while being positive. "It can be hard to find trusted information that affirms our sexual and romantic desires. This resource addresses that challenge," the introduction reads.

From 1985 to 2009, more than 500 Canadian children under the age of 15, and about 1,000 aged 15 to 19, tested positive for HIV. Meanwhile, 12,000 people between 20 and 29 tested positive, which is about a quarter of the total reported cases. (The Public Health Agency of Canada reported that approximately 3,000 did not report their ages.)


For HIV-positive youth, few resources exist to lead them through the bewildering and terrifying situation - and there are certainly none to show them that sex doesn't end after learning that you're positive. This guide, which is also available in French, is supposed to change that.

"The guide tackles topics young people living with HIV are dealing with and thinking about in their lives," says Michael Schneider, ACT's youth program coordinator. He hopes that the guide, which was written by positive youth, helps others in "navigating the waters," especially when it comes to sex.

With a look at everything from how to protect a negative partner to having sex with someone with the same HIV status (serosorting), the book is a brass-tacks look that doesn't sugarcoat the language.

"The importance for this project came from the reality that HIV is still a largely stigmatizing issue in the world, even here in Toronto," Schneider says. He highlights the need for "having a resource that is both culturally appropriate and a trusted, affirming, up-to-date source for information."

The book ends by tackling the thorny question of disclosure, noting recent changes that allow HIV-positive people to not disclose if their viral loads are low and they use condoms but underlines that the penalties can be stiff if they do not disclose in other circumstances.


"You may not like what the law says and you may not agree with it. But it's still the law and the consequences can be severe," it reads. "We hope the law evolves in a direction that is less stigmatizing for people living with HIV. We want to be able to protect ourselves and still have hot consensual sex."

For more information, go to actoronto.org/mysexlife.

Comments

Moral nihilism
Since the book is produced by the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT), I assume it will NOT have any statements that urge HIV-positive youth to take care to avoid infecting other youth with HIV. Given their past history, I assume that ACT would consider such a statement to be judgmental, sex-negative and AIDS-phobic. Oh well, at least the government will pay for their anti-HIV drugs when another young person turns HIV-positive - and continue to fund ACT's "work".
HIV/AIDS IS OVER ALREADY
HIV IS NOT A VIRUS.IT IS REALLY HI WITH A V ADDED TO IT.THEN U GOT HIV.THE REASON ,A DRUG ADDICT CAN'T QUALIFY FOR DISABILITY WELFARE BENEFITS,AS A HI,PERSON,SO THEY ADD A "V" HO HI,FOR HIV.YOU CAN NOT CATCH DRUG ADDICTION FROM A HI PERSON ON DRUGS.BUT A CLEAN SOBER PERSON WHO HANGS AROUND HI PEOPLE MOST LIKLY CAN BECOME A DRUG ADDICT.CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS CAREFULLY,IF U ARE NOT A DRUG USER,DO U HAVE ANYTHING IN COMMON WITH A DRUG USER.DON'T SOCIALIZE WITH THEM.NEXT YOU CAN'T CATCH HIV SEXUALLY,AS HI ISN'T A VIRUS.GAY DRUG USERS WHO HAVE SEX WITH MEN,THEN GO FOR AN HIV TEST,ONLY REALLY WILL TEST POSITIVE FOR DRUG USE.HIV IS REALLY A HI TEST.WITH 2 DIFFERENT NAMES.DON'T BE FOOLED.SO IF U ARE HI,WHY GET AN HIV TEST,U SHOULD KNOW THAT U ARE HI.RIGHT.IF U TAKE HIV/AIDS MEDS,U TEST POSITIVE FOR THAT,EVERYTIME U GET BLOOD WORK DONE.HIV/AIDS MEDS ARE POISONOUS CHEMICALS.IF U WANT DISABILITY WELFARE,GET IT THE RIGHT WAY,DON'T TAKE THE MEDS ,YOU WILL DIE.DON'T TELL PEOPLE U ARE HIV,EITHER AS IT IS NOT CATCHING,THEN U GOT MORE MONEY TO BY EITHER MORE CRACK,METH OR HEROIN,OR IF U ARE SMART,YOU WILL BY FOOD,AND THE NESSESITES OF LIFE.U CAN EVEN SAVE YOUR WELFARE CHEQUES AND BECOME RICH.EAT FOR FREE .
Bob?????
Have another toke!...mmm I take that back. PLEASE stop doing that shit!!
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