August 10, 2007

Welcome to the 14th Edition of the International Carnival of Pozitivities

I am pleased and honored to host the 14th Edition of the International Carnival of Pozitivities.

We are ALL living with HIV/AIDS. This is a carnival about living with HIV/AIDS and how HIV/AIDS has affected your life. This site assumes that HIV/AIDS is caused by a variety of HIV viruses, either wild strains or those generated from drug resistance, and is not a forum for those who do not believe that HIV causes AIDS. Your stories of life with HIV/AIDS, including your survival strategies, your medication issues, your friends or loved ones with HIV/AIDS, your efforts for the cause, in fact, anything to do with how you live positively will be accepted.

Here at Straight, Not Narrow, I write about issues that affect the GLBT community. As you can probably tell from the title of this blog, I am not gay myself, but my wife Pastor Brenda and I are deeply involved in mistering to GLBT people at our church, Believers Covenant Fellowship.
Brenda has been at it for about 20 years and introduced me to that ministry in 2004. We also work together on an Internet ministry project called the Affirming Christian Network, where we are gathering together different voices to speak to the GLBT community, both Christians and those who are seeking.

I ran across Ron Hudson's blog last year and, from that, learned about the ICP. We began corresponding on a regular basis, then I contacted him a while back asking for the opportunity to host an edition, which he was kind enough to allow me to do. I wanted to do this as a natural extension of a key princple of this blog--education. I believe many people who support homophobic practices in society and their churches do so more because of what they don't understand than because of what they think they do know. Education is one of the primary weapons against homophobia as it is against HIV/AIDS.

As you will see from the contributions to this, the 14th Edition of the International Carnival of Pozitivities, HIV/AIDS is a major global problem. There are numerous entries describing the horrible crisis over in Africa. Although the efforts of medical aid and prevention are still woefully short of where they need to be, there are still stories of hope and success on that continent, and you'll see some of those right here.

As is appropriate for such a far-reaching disease, the entries to the ICP come from people in different nations with different backgrounds that represent the diversity of the population affected by HIV/AIDS. I learned a lot about the world-wide impact of this disease from reading and watching the various contributions as I posted them here, and I'm sure you will too.

I would like to dedicate this edition of the ICP to the memories of those we know who succumbed to the disease and to the hope of those who currently deal with it every day of their lives.

The 15th Edition of the ICP will be hosted by Living Mindfully With HIV on September 10, 2007. You can visit the ICP homepage to see the schedule and hosts of future ICPs.

Karen Halls presents Alcoholism Signs - 15 Telltale Symptoms You Need to Know posted at Addiction Recovery Blog.

There are some very important and commonly occurring alcoholism signs that you should be well aware of if you think you or someone near to you might be having a problem with alcohol. Keep in mind that even if one of these alcoholism signs is present only one you or someone you love may be afflicted with and suffering from the disease of alcoholism.

Sokari presents thoughts that stop you from sleeping posted at Black Looks.

On Friday morning I received an email from a friend in Joburg – since I had left at the end of April she had lost three members of her family to AIDS. AIDs is another form of violence. 58% of people living with HIV in SA are women. Many of these women are positive because they were raped or because they had no power to refuse to have sex without a condom. They had no power to refuse their husbands or partners – refusing could lead to further violence – a kick, a punch, a stab, or a bunch or kicks, punches and stabs and being permanently disfigured, maimed or dead.

Dragonette presents The revolution will not be televised posted at NotPerfectAtAll.

Instead of focusing on isolating HIV people and insinuating our seperation from society, in a way that no other - infectious or not - sickness was isolated in the modern era, we should be getting a narrative that emphasizes that we are the very fabric of society, and we are not going anywhere because a virus has entered our bloodstream, whether it happened in a mass orgy or in a blood transfusion is completely irrelevant, what is insanely relevant is the enforcement of abstinence, the lack of affordable medication and treatment, and the lack of acceptance of the fact that poz people are part of society, just like people with cancer, Parkinson's or gingivitis are.

Dragonnette also presents No one........ posted at NotPerfectAtAll.

I am alone in a hospital bed in a dark room on the second floor of a huge hospital, I have HIV, the sun is shining outside, people are crowding the streets, and my life is gone, I am nothing, I disappear into a dot, I might even fall asleep, and then my dad enters. He opens the curtain and bends over and hugs me while I am curled in that bed, I cannot remember my dad hugging me in a bed, not even when I was little, I cannot remember my dad hugging me while I cried. One second I am a woman, going about my business in the big wide world, the next I am this, I have slipped back to a time I can't even remember.I am so thankful he is there.

Joe of Joe.My.God presents 20 Years Of ACT-UP In Photos posted at Joe. My. God.

A photographic retrospective of the work of Chuck Stollard covering the 20 years of ACT-UP's Los Angeles chapter will run June 16th -July 21st at LA's Drkrm Gallery:

Brian D. Morgan presents video from his presentation at the SC STD/HIV 2007 Convention posted at Brian "A little guy with a BIG heart!".

Jeannette Clariond presents Demarcation: Welcoming Guest Poet Jeannette Clariond of Mexico posted at 2sides2ron.

Jeannette L. Clariond is a poet and translator from Chihuahua, México. She holds a degree in Philosophy, and Masters Degrees in Spanish Literature, Methodology of Science and Master of Arts. When I thanked her for this contribution to the International Carnival of Pozitivities, Ms. Clariond wrote,"...poetry lives because it believes in suffering with others."

Farid de la Ossa presents Guest Artist: Farid de la Ossa of Colombia posted at 2sides2ron.

My name is Farid De La Ossa. I am a 31 year old Colombian artist living in the US who was diagnosed with HIV 4 months ago. The name of this piece is "Pansexuality" and it is based on the opportunity I have had to get to know transgenders and people dealing with different kinds of gender combinations of relationships in my stay in San Francisco (US).

Philip Javellana presents The NPF Newsbag: We're Going to Sydney! posted at The NPF Newsbag.

From July 17-25, NPF staff will be in Sydney, Australia conducting a training session for 50 international journalists on how to cover HIV/AIDS. We're working in collaboration with the International AIDS Society's 4th International Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention.

Philip Javellana also presents Sydney 2007 Day 1: Living with HIV/AIDS posted at The NPF Newsbag.

For a look at the human side of the HIV epidemic, we worked with a local group, People Living with HIV/AIDS New South Wales, to bring in two men who have been living with the virus for the past 20 plus years. Peter Schlosser (left) and Tim Alderton are two Sydney natives who have lived through the history of the epidemic since the beginning. They shared their stories with us and took questions from the journalists.

Brian Finch presents July 13/07 How do I tell a thousand stories in one post? posted at

With Frank translating I had a great conversation with these women. Let me put this into context, all of these women have been shunned in their communities, some have been living on the streets and had only street side vendors to make a few scraps of money. They feel rejected and only just begun to find each other for a source of support. Also, anti-retrovirals have only been widely available for three years.
For them it is amazing to talk to both of us openly. As we spoke about our lives these women completely opened up. We shared what it was like in Canada and in Rwanda the experiences of people living with HIV, being single and having the right to be in relationships and be married if we want to.

ACT UP Paris presents Act Up-Paris Abbott Blockade against Thailand : people with HIV/AIDS invite CEO to crisis resolution meeting posted at ACT UP Paris.

Today July 13 2007, The Thai Network of People living with HIV/AIDS and Act Up-Paris have invited Abbott Laboratories CEO Miles White to a conciliation meeting with a representative of the Thai government, during the International AIDS Conference in Sydney, on July 23 2007. This meeting aims to offer the drug company an opportunity to get out of the crisis in which it has dug itself since announcing a blockade of lifesaving medicines against the Thais, followed by a lawsuit against people with HIV for organizing an internet protest.

Page Bomar and Dr. Dave Wessner presents Microbicides: Empowering women posted at The AIDS Pandemic.

Current global AIDS statistics are staggering, to say the least. Approximately 40 million people worldwide are living with the disease, while 14,000 new infections occur each day. Women make up almost 50% of adult infections, but this figure is higher in sub-Saharan Africa, where women are 30% more likely to be HIV-positive than men.

Brian at Blogswana presents Motho ke motho ka motho yo mongwe posted at Blogswana.

Motho ke motho ka motho yo mongwe A person becomes human through his or her interaction with other people. In this month’s Vanity Fair Archbishop Desmond Tutu explains this same concept which he refers to as ubuntu.
Ubuntu is the essence of being human. And in our language a person is ubuntu, and ubuntu is a noun to speak about what it means to be human. We say a person is a person through other persons. You can’t be human in isolation. You are human only in relationships.

James Wortz presents Mindful Eating posted at LIVING MINDFULLY WITH HIV.

When we are mindful, we recognize what we are picking up. When we put it into our mouth, we know what we are putting into our mouth. When we chew it, we know what we are chewing. It's very simple.
Some of us, while looking at a piece of carrot, can see the whole cosmos in it, can see the sunshine in it, can see the earth in it. It has come from the whole cosmos for our nourishment.
You may like to smile to it before you put it in your mouth. When you chew it, you are aware that you are chewing a piece of carrot. Don't put anything else into your mouth, like your projects, your worries, your fear, just put the carrot in.
And when you chew, chew only the carrot, not your projects or your ideas. You are capable of living in the present moment, in the here and the now. It is simple, but you need some training to just enjoy the piece of carrot. This is a miracle.

Lorenzo presents barebacking is for haters? posted at god is brown.

As a (not so young anymore) Queer Xicano I have spent the last 10 years looking for my ancestors, many lost because of HIV/AIDS. I have dedicated myself professionally, artistically, academically and personally to supporting a movement to create a world free from such atrocities. Not a day goes by that I do not remember that through my veins flows the same virus that flowed through the veins of my ancestors. I must confess, however, that I am disappointed and saddened by some of the ways that we’re going about things.

Melody and Martha present Keeping medical records is the responsibility of the patient posted at The Nata village blog.

Gloria's record reflects her commitment to her treatment. Shehas pasted information about how AIDS can be transmitted and the importance of using a condom. This is just another way in which Gloria lives openly with this disease and at the same time educates others.

Giles Crouch presents Polygamy; Best Friend of HIV posted at Slimconomy.

But what is relevant to HIV is the concept of Polygamy. I've spoken of the cultural issues in South Africa, and many other parts of Africa related to men who have a wife and one or more mistresses, even a male partner in another Township nearby. In Western Africa however, it is more Polygamy, driven largely by the mix of Christianity and Animism in this part of the country. In Northern and Northeastern Africa, Islam has taken hold, which does not permit Polygamy. As a result, we do see somewhat less HIV/AIDS in this region, and much more in Western Africa

Jill Kingslea presents YouTube - Grassroots responses to HIV/AIDS, Swaziland posted at YouTube.

In Southern Africa, Swaziland is a nation of one million people. It is also home to the highest rates of HIV in the world. More than 42% of pregnant women test positive for the disease.

Warrior Scout presents dance hall days posted at kickin tina.

This passage defines precisely the message i hope to begin to leave as a gift for the gay men to follow me. come out- be who you are- but before you start the party and celebrate your sexuality and freedom, take the time to heal the wounds and scars you bring from all those years of deception, lies, and character assassinations. shine a light on them. don't hide them. this will hopefully help you lead a healthier and happier life.

therapydoc presents Can You Cry Too Many Tears? posted at Everyone Needs Therapy.

Sometimes it helps to look over your life and find the things that you forgot to cry for or weren't mature enough to cry for or had been taught that you shouldn't cry for, but you should have cried for when they happened. You should have cried at the time but you didn't.

Rich Ferguson presents YouTube - With This Kiss posted at YouTube. You can also check out Rich's home page.

With this kiss
There are revelations tattooed upon our lips
Revelations more easily read
On account of this silent pact with recognition
Where I'm beginning to see that we are slowly becoming healed

And this is not some medicine show down by the river
I'm not faking it, mistaking it, trying to rake in the bucks
From selling you some snake-oil of unfortified conviction

Just listen

Kh. Zahir Hossain presents Facing the Challenges of HIV/AIDS posted at 2sides2ron.

AIDS is no longer a problem of medication. It is a problem of development. It is not just an individual hardship. It also threatens to decimate the future prospects of poor countries, wiping away years of hard-won improvements in development indicators. As a result of the disease, many poor countries are witnessing a worsening in child survival rates, reduced life expectancy, crumbling and over-burdened health care systems, the breakdown of family structures and the decimation of a generation in the prime of their working lives.

Eric Seiwald presents Caring For the Whole Person posted at Fight AIDS. You can also check out his other site, Stop World Aids.

If you could go back in time to 1995, snatch a person with HIV or AIDS off the street and fast-foward him/her to 2007, he/she would be absolutely astonished at the changes that have taken place.

There's one thing our visitor form 1995 would recognize: most people with HIV focus on the virus as if it were the only health issue they need to care about. It's time for that to change! It's time for people with HIV to realize that the virus is only one part of their total health picture. It's time for people with HIV to start caring for the whole person.

Warrior Scout presents your gift is my song posted at kickin tina.

i have been working as a client advocate for persons living with hiv for two years now. it has been an eye-opening experience to say the least. more importantly is the heart opening that has been taking place in me the last two years as well. i have become aware of so many issues and details and circumstances in peoples lives that i previously was completely blind to. this is my song. and my song is knowing you.

Ron Hudson presents Your old prescription glasses are needed posted at 2sides2ron.

I found this heartbreaking post on the Nata Village Blog of Botswana recently and contacted Melody Jenkins of the group that publishes the blog. She and I discussed the need for prescription glasses (including sunglasses) for the elderly in her village and I decided to send out an appeal to you to donate any old prescription glasses that you might have around your home for these beautiful people.

Dianne M. Buxton presents Healthy Office Space Workouts posted at manifestingsuccess.

Highlighting the need for physical exercise as part of the holistic approach to healing, especially for long term survivors who tend to become sedentary and have need for muscle tone.

ANT presents CARE4U posted at The ANT Colony.

This pretty much sums it up. A little eye candy and some education. At the party Robert Gant, Thea Gill, Michele Clunie, Wilson Cruz, Daryl Stephens, and a ton of other stars. (That's Thea Gill and Michele Clunie from Queer as Folk who run up to me on the dance floor!)


  1. Great job on this month's edition. Thanks so much for being this month's host. I linked your post to a wonderful diarist at Daily Kos who has written a testimony about his own personal history with today's GLBT movement.


    "I attended the first World AIDS Day planning event in Raleigh and have been involved in those every since. While many would not consider this a civil rights event, I do as we educated the world about HIV and AIDS. The stigma of the "GAY" disease had to be removed and the world needed to be educated. I worked with people who would never have attended a Gay Pride March but who were driven by the need to help the Community overcome and bring awareness to the public.

    Once I moved to San Francisco, I immediately became involved in politics, civil rights and AIDS/HIV Awareness. I also attended a memorial march to commemorate the night Harvey Milk and George Moscone were murdered. The sight of thousands of men, women and children marching down Market Street with candles will stay with me forever. The sadness and anger that still burned in the hearts of those gathered was a powerful force. It was a force that said we will not be taken for granted and we will not be forgotten or shunted aside. The same went for the Candle Light Vigil for World AIDS Day in San Francisco. There is a power in numbers which is hard to relate unless you have been there and felt the love, pain, fear, anger, and hope burning in each person as they walk holding that small flame out against the darkness of hatred and despair."

  2. Here's a website you may find useful. is a site for friends, families, and those who suffer from various addictions.