It is with profound sadness that we mourn the death of Mike Hamilton of HIV related causes on Friday December 5, 2014.
As Mike had done on many previous occasions, he was in attendance at the Ontario AIDS Network Honour Roll event on November 26, 2014. Once again Mike gave the time to connect, remember and honour the achievements of others.
Over the years Mike gave generously of his time, his passion and his courage that inspired others to stand up for the rights and dignity of people who are HIV positive. He served two terms on the Ontario AIDS Network Board of Directors as the PHA Caucus Co-Chair, and two terms on the Ontario HIV Treatment Network Board of Directors. He was until recently the President of the AIDS Committee of Windsor Board of Directors.
Mike Hamilton was diagnosed with HIV in 1985. He was living in downtown Toronto as an out, proud gay man. In 1986 a group of gay men, mostly friends of Mike’s, started building the temporary AIDS Memorial that was erected in the alley way beside the 519 Community Centre on Church Street in Toronto for Toronto’s Gay Pride. His first friend died from AIDS in the fall of 1987, the same year he and his partner Chuck moved in together. His parents, Wally (deceased) and Ruby were very active in PFLAG from the earliest days and encouraged in Mike the spirit of community engagement and activism. Mike joined with 3 friends from Toronto’s Leather community to design and deliver the first Canadian "S&M 101 safer sex" workshops sponsored by the AIDS Committee of Toronto. He and his partner moved to Windsor/Detroit in the early 90’s and Mike volunteered for several local AIDS Service Organizations on both sides of the border. In the late 90’s Mike got involved in Ontario provincial AIDS work as a volunteer.
Mike has been living in the rural farmland of Chatham-Kent with his partner of 23 years. He was an Advisory Committee member (8 years) of the AIDS Bereavement & Resiliency Project of Ontario. He was also a founding member of our (GMSH) Poz Prevention Working Group. Mike also worked as a research associate on two Ontario HIV research projects. He was an active participant in his local PHA, gay and Chatham-Kent Community. Mike is mourned by the many lives that he touched right across Ontario.
Thank you Mike.
Details about memorial service can be found here: http://www.aidswindsor.org/