January 2012 - 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.
About the IAS
The International AIDS Society (IAS) is the world's leading independent association of HIV professionals, with 14,000 members from
190 countries working at all levels of the global response to AIDS. Our members include researchers from all disciplines, clinicians,
public health and community practitioners on the frontlines of the epidemic, as well as policy and programme planners. The IAS is also
the custodian of the biennial International AIDS Conference, which will be held in Washington, USA, from 22 to 27 July 2012.