Out in the Open·Full Episode

World AIDS Day Turns 30

This week, Piya asks Canadians who have HIV what's changed about life with the virus in the 30 years since the first World AIDS Day in 1988.

Piya asks Canadians with HIV what's changed about life in the 30 years since the first World AIDS Day in 1988.

This World AIDS Day, Out in the Open hears stories from people living with the disease. (Submitted by: Ashley Rose Murphy; Vince Crisostomo; Valerie Nicholson)

This episode was originally published on November 30, 2018.

This week, Piya asks Canadians who have HIV what's changed about life with the virus in the 30 years since the first World AIDS Day in 1988.

Here are the stories from this week's episode...

Growing old with HIV

When Vince Crisostomo and Bob Leahy were diagnosed with HIV in the 1980s and early 90s, respectively, they saw it as a death sentence. But eventually, when treatment became available, they discovered they would be able to significantly prolong their lives. They speak about how that changed their perspectives on life, and the challenges posed by being among the first generation of people to grow old with HIV.

'This can happen to anyone': Overcoming the lingering stigma of HIV

Ashley Rose Murphy was born with HIV. As a 20-year-old woman, she didn't live through the height of the AIDS epidemic. But as she's grown up, she has still encountered stigma and got the feeling she shouldn't talk about it. Ashley speaks with Piya about reflecting the changing face of HIV, and why she chooses to proclaim her positive status.

'We're out there and we want to have babies': Mother of three battles misconceptions around HIV and pregnancy

Brittany Cameron was diagnosed with HIV in 2006, while pregnant with her first child. Doctors in her home city of Peterborough, Ontario weren't equipped to handle the delivery, so she went to Toronto, where she gave birth to an HIV-negative child. Since then, she's got treatment, went on to have more HIV-negative kids, and is determined to educate others about the possibility of having children while positive, and help enhance medical support in her city.

Advocate worries shift in government HIV funding leaves people vulnerable

Valerie Nicholson is HIV-positive and says she might not be alive today if it wasn't for the Positive Women's Network in Vancouver. The group recently shut its doors due to the federal government's HIV funding strategy shifting from care to prevention. She argues groups like the one that helped her are still necessary, because while HIV may be manageable for many, that's not necessarily the case for marginalized communities.

Man convicted in relation to non-disclosure talks about changes in criminal law around HIV

In 2008, Chad Clarke says he'd received conflicting HIV tests, leading him to believe he was negative. But then, Clarke was charged with aggravated sexual assault for transmitting HIV to a former partner. He pleaded guilty to avoid a longer sentence, he says, and landed on Canada's national sex offender registry for life. Clarke speaks with Piya about the changes in criminal law around HIV/AIDS since then, and what he still wants to see change.


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