SFU Advancement & Alumni Engagement

www.lifeandlovewithhiv.ca destigmatizes HIV and supports wellness by sharing research and personal stories from women living with HIV. Your gift will support the project's operating costs and allows community writers to receive mentorship and compensation for their work.
Funds Raised
$ 435
Raised by 7 supporters
Goal: $15,000

Celebrating Our One-Year Anniversary!

We launched Life and Love with HIV in July 2018 at the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) with the goal of shifting the dialogue around HIV to a more affirming place.

We’ve had many successes in our first year:

  • We hired and mentored six feature women writers living with HIV from around the world, including Kenya, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, US, and the UK. Each writer represented a unique perspective and courageously shared with us their personal challenges and triumphs of life and love with HIV.
  • With the support of a research editor/mentor, they wrote 29 stories on a wide range of sexual health and social justice issues, such as pleasure, orgasm, bodies, identities, trauma, resilience, dating, disclosure, self-love, motherhood, and more! It takes courage to put pen to paper; in their art, as in their lives, these writers were fearless!

  • With support from all of you, this small, grassroots, volunteer-run effort in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, transformed into the global platform it is today.

    • 1600+ members connecting on our social networks
    • 300 people visiting our website each month
    • A diverse readership, including 70% women and 65% people aged 25-44 years
    • From 50+ cities all over the world

Comments on blogs highlight the power of community storytelling:

  • To connect emotionally to readers: “This was a beautiful empowering story that gave me chills and goosebumps.”
  • To change attitudes toward dating: “As someone currently thinking of trying online dating again, this was timely.”
  • To share support cross-culturally: “I love the three-date rule but will it work in Nigeria? The stigmatization is too much.”
  • And to impact women’s lives and relationships: “I think stories like these are going to have a huge impact on a lot of people and bring a positive change that is long overdue.”

We are grateful to Simon Fraser University, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR, 147983), the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, and the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS who generously provided the first two years of start-up funding.

Please join us in supporting women living with HIV globally.


Impact on community writers and mentors:

It has been a beautiful experience participating in the creation of Life and Love with HIV, I'm proud to be part of this global community of strong women that courageously speak up for their rights as sexual beings and by doing so, help lessen the stigma of HIV. It's time to de-medicalize our sex lives and reclaim our right to enjoy sex and intimacy. – Margarite Sanchez

Contributing to Life and love with HIV has been an enlightening and very empowering experience. I got to connect with a diverse group of women and learn from their experiences and thoughts about various aspects of sex, sexuality, and pleasure. I feel empowered by the experience of it all, particularly from the various moments in the last year in which, through our online magazine, we engaged in discussions of sexuality for women living with HIV from the lens of pleasure and not only from risk - a conversation that needs to continue happening, that I believe is useful for shaping the narratives about a woman's body, autonomy and choice. – Florence Anam

Being part of a group of women who write and who happen to live and often thrive with HIV has been a truly nourishing and grounding experience. It’s easy to feel both, othered and isolated when your written word contains your vulnerable truth but being part of this group allowed me an ongoing sense of a writing family. It has helped my writing about the most intimate aspects of life to flow and to flourish. – Juno Roche

Writing for Life and Love has changed my ability to share my experience with support, encouragement and love, honestly without judgement or fear. – Wynne ST

What the writing meant to me is, it was such a great experience to share what we as young people living with HIV experience while dating and growing to accept our status. My experiences have impacted so many young people to accepting their status and living great life. My wish is to have as many of us share our experience and lets make HIV our issue. Thank you. – Just Stash

What I love about the Life and Love with HIV platform is that: as a service providers, I learn a lot from the bloggers and share the information with other ladies; I share the website with newly diagnosed women who think after an HIV diagnoses it is the end of their sexual pleasure; and personally I use every tip that has been shared to enhance my love life. There is always a story that you can identify with as a woman living with HIV – diverse stories that are targeted at young women, older women, trans women, researchers and affected loved ones globally. UNITED IN SEXUAL RIGHTS & PLEASURE. Long live Life and Love with HIV – Marvelous Muchenje


Feedback from readers:

  • Life and Love with HIV is a great platform where matters that are never talked about openly are put in writing and in a way people get to understand. I love the website and let this spirit never ever die.
  • It is amazing to see my peers on here writing their thoughts. it is about time women have this space to write and be vulnerable with their lives with love and sex. I am super proud of everyone involved to making this website happen, and cannot wait for more content.
  • This is amazing!!
  • This is really beautiful and necessary! Thank you for taking the time to do this work, for all the amazing collaboration around the world, and pleasure-centred content. <3 I look forward to reading what your folks put out!
  • What a wonderful initiative. Thank you for doing this!
  • I have only quickly viewed the site but I really like what I see and have shared with my colleagues. Great work and very necessary! Can't wait to see it evolve :o)
  • I love your website! Beautiful design!
  • Wow, fantastic job !! Thank you to all involved to make this happen. Very exciting to see from when it was first spoken about to seeing the finished goal!! Congrats !!
  • It is a good opportunity to know about this site.
  • Great blogs, I am learning a lot from others.

Donation Impact

Your gift will provide ongoing training, mentorship, and compensation to community writers, empowering them with the tools and skills to share their stories. These stories are important for de-stigmatizing sexuality and relationships with HIV. In addition, gifts support the project’s operating costs (eg. Staffing, web hosting and support, community engagement and mentorships), so it may remain a free resource for all.

The beautiful content and design of our website depends on the labour of our community, which includes writers, activists, bloggers, artists, and scholars from around the world.

It is our hope to reach the $15,000 necessary to make this project available for a third year. On behalf of our team and the communities we serve, we extend our sincerest thanks for your generous support.