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Buzz Words [Feb. 14th, 2011|06:21 pm]


The hotel room view, as usual, this one at the Delta Chelsea in Toronto, where I was ensconced for most of last week.

I had a pretty good time at The Gay Men’s Sexual Health Summit.

The buzz words of the day in the world of HIV prevention are as follows:

Asset based – in other words, focussing not on weaknesses and what people are doing wrong, but on their strengths and how to build on those.

Resiliency – one of the assets we hear a lot about now, in particular the resiliency of negative gay men who have stayed negative all this time, despite the odds.

Syndemics – the ability of several pandemics to react with each other and affect each other to form a larger more complex entity – for example risk behaviour, mental health issues, drug dependency and homelessness can together produce results hugely difficult to deal with

My take is that HIV prevention is getting much more sophisticated now, rooted in research, theorizing and the accumulated wisdom of what works and what doesn’t. Whether it is any more successful, particularly in the gay male population, is debatable. Certainly new infections continue unabated, but what would the situation be if there were no interventions at all, one asks? And what is the impact of the perception of a disease which is generally no longer life-threatening, but instead a chronic manageable condition?

Of course I lap up this kind of discussion, always have done. Prevention is, in the end, like one giant jigsaw puzzle where someone has gone and stolen some of the pieces, but a search around the house reveals the odd one here and there.

Meanwhile, I had my PositveLite hat on much of the time, and did two interviews with Brian filming, me doing the actual interviews. Brian presented a session on the site and we both did a lot of politicking with those present. It almost felt like work, but in a good way.

One thing that came across loud and clear at the conference is that Twitter, of which I’m a recent convert, has arrived big time in our community. I love it. It was great to meet a few fellow tweeters, almost like those LJ meet-ups we used to hear about. And btw, on that note I met up with muddster one evening, and we had a rather nice dinner and convo at Just Thai on Church Street. He’s a super nice guy.

And over on PositiveLite, I have an extremely interesting post up today, or at least I think so. It’s the story of an injection drug user, HIV-positive for twenty years, currently serving a sentence at Warkworth Institution, a medium-security gaol just a few miles from our place. He consented to an interview with one of my agency’s support workers. If you’re curious about the conditions for HIV-positive inmates in our prison system read the piece here.

[User Picture]From: zurcherart
2011-02-14 11:57 pm (UTC)
Have you told me your twitter ID? I'm @zurcherart.
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[User Picture]From: ruralrob
2011-02-15 02:58 am (UTC)
I'm ruraltweeter. I'll follow you (to the ends of the earth.)

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[User Picture]From: mrdreamjeans
2011-02-15 02:04 am (UTC)
Thanks for the update! I learn so much from your posts. It's a world with which I'm not familiar or particularly well informed. So, thank you ...

The photo made me smile. This particular room at the Delta Chelsea looks exactly like room where I stayed for six weeks in 2005.

Happy Valentines Day to Meirion and you!

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[User Picture]From: ruralrob
2011-02-15 03:58 am (UTC)
The photo made me smile. This particular room at the Delta Chelsea looks exactly like room where I stayed for six weeks in 2005.

Room 529. They havent even changed the sheets, LOL.

Happy Valentine's Day to you too Neil.
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[User Picture]From: ciddyguy
2011-02-15 02:43 am (UTC)
Don't hotels after a while begin to look alike? :-)

That said, what you are doing is indeed good work and it's always nice and, well, comforting to know there ARE people out there helping those with issues, such as AIDS in the community.

As you well know, being gay in and of itself isn't always fairy tales and pixie dust and fabulousity, but learning to love yourself in a positive manner, becoming comfortable with who you are and doing what is necessary to maintain one's health, even if it is to keep negative about STD's and HIV is what is really is all about.

Edited at 2011-02-15 02:44 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: ruralrob
2011-02-15 04:03 am (UTC)
Your'e right about the hotels. This is one of my least favourite, btw.

Actually, you've summarized the current approach to HIV prevention quite well. It's very much a holistic thing nowadays, which is why it's framed in terms of sexual health - but which includes physical, mental - the works. It's also very sex-positive and builds on what we as individuals are doing right rather than on what we do wrong.
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[User Picture]From: ciddyguy
2011-02-15 04:08 am (UTC)
Thanks, glad I can summarize something like this so well. :-)

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[User Picture]From: muddster
2011-02-15 07:42 pm (UTC)
Cool. Thanks for the dinner, it was great meeting you. And thanks for the directions...there's no way I could have found it.
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