Pride 2014: Bradford McIntyre proudly declares his HIV status to encourage others to get tested
At this year's Vancouver Pride celebrations, Bradford McIntyre marked another milestone in his remarkable life.
The long-term HIV survivor changed the sign he carried in the 2004 parade to reflect that he's still here 30 years since being infected with the retrovirus.
A decade ago, the sign said “20 years.”
“I'm in shock that I'm still alive and still here and still doing this,” McIntyre told the Georgia Straight shortly before the parade began.
The annual parade is a massive street party for many Vancouverites. McIntyre sees it as a tremendous opportunity for public education about HIV, which killed scores of Vancouverites before effective treatment was developed.
“I nearly died of PCP pneumonia in 1998 and it was the antiretroviral medications that saved my life,” McIntyre said. “I've been undetectable since then. I'm not able to transmit.”
He explained that the “treatment as prevention” approach pioneered by Dr. Julio Montaner's team at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS has made it possible for HIV-positive people not to infect others.
Charlie Smith reports