A day in the life of Bradford McIntyre
IAS Member and Founder of “Positively Positive, Living with HIV/AIDS” Website
I found out that I was infected with HIV in 1984. One year later, on 28 November 1985, I was told by an AIDS specialist to go home, inform my family, and arrange my funeral because I had six months to live. Soon after, I left my job and moved away from friends and family so that no one would see me get sick or die. However, I didn't die, and twenty-seven years later I'm still here. My CD4 count is strong at 1050. I first started antiretroviral medications in 1997 and since then, my viral load has been undetectable.
In 1994, I announced publicly on national Canadian television that I was living with HIV. I did not experience any negative repercussions following my coming out and this freed me from the burden of hiding my condition. My coming out publicly evolved and grew, and it has been an extremely rewarding and liberating experience.
Since 1994, whenever possible, I have volunteered my time and energy to participate in HIV and AIDS causes. I have appeared on television and radio, in newspaper and magazine interviews and documentaries. My articles on HIV and AIDS have been published in newspapers, magazines and on websites around the world.
In 2003, I launched my website Positively Positive - Living with HIV/AIDS with the aim of raising awareness around the many HIV/ AIDS issues and promoting messages of positive living with HIV. At present, with over 2000 pages, it receives 100,000 to 150,000 hits a month. Since it began, the website has reached over 9 million people in 176 countries and provides me with the opportunity to educate, inform and build community.
The website is my way of giving back to the community and gives me a strong sense of contributing. When you visit Positively Positive - Living with HIV/AIDS, you discover a wide variety of life affirming and supportive topics, my personal story, HIV/AIDS articles, alternative therapies, videos, links and more.
HIV/AIDS information is sadly lacking: the time the media gives to HIV/AIDS coverage is that of news covering a new drug or conference or a statistic. HIV needs to be in the media each and every day as most people only see snippets of news and these are not effective enough. For this reason, in 2007 I decided to create an HIV/AIDS News page where people could find information on many HIV and AIDS related issues.
Each day, health permitting, I sort through the latest HIV/ AIDS news I receive via email alerts. Then, I decide what I will include on the news page. In order to do this, I contact the specific source for permission to link to or to reproduce the information, in which I am interested. News items stay on the HIV/AIDS News page for a month and then go into the HIV/AIDS News Archives.
On a daily basis, I collaborate with individuals, groups and organizations throughout the world, to include their HIV/AIDS news articles, press releases, events, workshops, conferences and more on my website. The website allows me the opportunity to showcase their work.
The ongoing daily challenges of maintaining my health are a major factor in my ability to continue operating the site and participating in various HIV/AIDS involvements. I operate the Positively Positive website all by myself.
Along with my International AIDS Society membership, I am a member of GNP+, the Global Network of People living with HIV/AIDS, Human Rights Campaign, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE), Canadian Treatment Action Council (CTAC), CAHR (Canadian Association of HIV Research), AIDS Vancouver Society, Positive Living BC, and The Vancouver Friends For Life Society.
Currently, I serve as Vice-Chair on the Board of Directors of the AIDS Vancouver Society
here in Vancouver, which was founded in 1983 as the first AIDS service organization in Canada. I attend Board meetings, I am on several committees and I am involved in fundraising events and public speaking.