October #28 : Next-Door Neighbor - by K.B. Chapman

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Newsletters
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join
Username:
Password:

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues




Table of Contents

She's Come A Long Way From Baby

Poet's Corner

Next-Door Neighbor

Man with a Mission

New Shave Cinema

Last Laughs

Call To Arms: Expended Access

Sex It Up

Victory Too Sweet?

POZ Picks

Trick or Treat?

At the End of Your Rope?

Hit Early, Hit Hard?

The Boy Who Stole the Show

Dirt Angel

A Very Pleasant Worry

A Load on His Mind: Tom Morgan (POZ April/May 1995)

Carnal Knowledge



Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


email print

October 1997

Next-Door Neighbor

by K.B. Chapman

Louise Binder has a lot to say about AIDS activism, Canadian-style.

"Canadians don't interrupt functions," she says. "We're far too polite. But we do speak out at functions." The difference involves purchasing a ticket rather than gate-crashing, which is precisely what Binder did at a luncheon where Canada's Prime Minister Jean Chrétien was to announce an upcoming election. "I didn't burst in, I burst out," Binder says, recalling how she and a fellow PWA stood up to address the crowd of 1,000 Canadian policymakers and plead for the renewal of Canada's AIDS initiative. "I said 'Please' -- as I always would -- 'please renew the National AIDS Strategy!'"

Binder and her cohort were immediately surrounded by Royal Canadian Mounted Police, but the prime minister got their message, and that of many other Canadian activists, and shortly after announced that the National AIDS Strategy will continue. The hotel that hosted the luncheon was less accommodating: They threatened to have Binder and her partner-in-crime arrested for trespassing if they ever set foot on the premises again. "Here are two women with AIDS," she says, laughing. "You're not going to scare us with a trespassing charge."

Not much scares Binder, 48, though her HIV diagnosis came as a shock, an unexpected result from a routine physical in 1993. (Her ex-husband -- whom she divorced in the early '90s -- has since died of AIDS.) Despite her impulse to-ward a proper demeanor, the closet was never an option. "I couldn't imagine keeping a huge part of my life to myself. It would drive me crazy."

So the former labor lawyer became an activist. "I'm not ashamed, I'm mad," she says, channeling her anger into her work for the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation, the Canadian Treatment Advocates Council, the HIV-AIDS Legal Clinic of Ontario and the Community Research Initiative of Toronto.

For her work on behalf of women with AIDS -- Binder serves as chair of Voices of Positive Women -- she was awarded Toronto's Constance Hamilton Award. "We're going to see an explosion in the numbers of women infected in North America," she says. "Women with HIV need more treatment information. If you can't stay healthy, so much else just doesn't count."

Thanks to her current cocktail of Crixivan, d4T and 3TC, Binder's viral load is undetectable, and her CD4 count -- which bottomed out at 30 -- is in the 300 range. Not that she takes her good health for granted. "Never, for one second, am I unaware of having HIV."

Given the courage of her convictions, Binder is likely to find herself once again surrounded by Mounties in the not-too-distant future. "I know what I want on my tombstone," she says, quoting: "'Here lies the only person other than a politician who made a career out of making pronouncements on things she knew nothing about.'"




[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar


    charliehunter
    San Francisco
    California


    soy_Ric
    Rochester
    New York


    sefarady
    New York
    California


    thebake
    Sioux Falls
    South Dakota
Click here to join POZ Personals!
Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Poll
Are you a regular coffee drinker?
Yes
No

Survey
Pop Watch

more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.