A digital magazine on sexuality in the Global South: We are working towards cultivating safe, inclusive, and self-affirming spaces in which all individuals can express themselves without fear, judgement or shame

HIV and Sexuality

Still from film "The Lovedance" (2000). A bare-chested man smelling a woman's hair from behind. She wears a red bindi on her forehead.

The Editorial: HIV and Sexuality

On World AIDS Day, we published the first issue of this month’s In Plainspeak with the theme HIV and Sexuality. Global funding for research and work around HIV issues has dried out over the past decade or so, with official statistics declaring it a slowing-down affliction; according to reports, it is a “declining trend”, with a 19%…
Professionals standing in a row on stage. They join their hands and raised them up in celebration. The poster on the wall behind them reads, "Positive power".

Positive Power!

On the occasion of World AIDS Day 2015, I could not help but ponder on what the day means to me and so many others like me who are living with HIV. This was on my mind as I helped my organization, India HIV/AIDS Alliance, prepare for Positive Power: All-India PLHIV Leadership Summit. We organised…
Street with tin roof houses in a hilly area. Snow-capped mountains can be seen behind.

A World Away: HIV in Central Asia

In the spring of 2005, working with a medical NGO, I and five colleagues (two critical care flight paramedics, a registered nurse, a primary care nurse practitioner, and a physician board certified in HIV medicine), spent a month and a half establishing one of the first HIV prevention and primary care treatment programs in Kyrgyzstan,…
Meena Seshu squatting on the floor as an older woman sitting on the floor caresses her on the cheek. Several women stand around them, looking on. Seshu is wearing a purple kurta, and the older woman wears a yellow saree.

Interview – Kiran Deshmukh

किरण देशमुख वैम्प प्लस की अध्यक्ष हैं। हमने एचआईवी एवं यौनिकता के विषय पर किरण के साथ ईमेल के द्वारा बातचीत की। प्रस्तुत हैं इसी साक्षात्कार के अंश - वैम्प (वेश्या अन्याय मुक्ति परिषद्) और वैम्प प्लस क्या है? वैम्प धंधा करने वाली औरतों का संगठन है और वैम्प प्लस धंधा करने वाली पॉजिटिव औरतों…
Charlie Sheen on The Today Show. Cameraperson is filming him.

Charlie Sheen Put a Spotlight on HIV and Sex Workers. But Here’s What’s Missing From the Conversation.

In the wake of Charlie Sheen’s announcement that he was HIV-positive, there was talk of how it would affect the actor’s career and also news about the reactions of his exes. But after Sheen’s comments about how he was blackmailed by “unsavory and insipid types” (“I’m imagining prostitutes,” Matt Lauer clarified for viewers) over his…
A black man in a white shirt and black pants sitting on a motorcycle in a peaceful hilly town.

Criminalising HIV

JOHANNESBURG – “If the law supposes that,” Mr. Bumble says in Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist, “the law is an ass.”  A criminal law that makes it preferable for carriers of HIV not to know that they are infected and capable of spreading it to others, including their loved ones, seems particularly suited to Mr.…
Poster of the film "Fire". Two young Indian women wearing kajal and earrings laughing. Screen reader support enabled. Poster of the film "Fire". Two young Indian women wearing kajal and earrings laughing.

Issue In Focus: Dealing With HIV—Has India Missed the Bus?

HIV remains exceptional in that it carries the seemingly immutable burden of being synonymous with immoral behaviour. Open and safe conversations on sexual rights and freedoms in the context of both disease and pleasure should have been the method of decoupling HIV from prevailing notions of morality. India’s HIV programme over the past 25 years…