I was at the Safeway yesterday afternoon, shopping for provisions after our return from Monterey. In the deli area, I spotted a rack of whole roasted chickens. Thrilled at the thought of not having to touch raw meat (and vaguely remembering Katr suggesting I "get a cooked chicken"), I moseyed over and selected a fowl. As I turned to walk away with my bird, I met the steely gaze of a lady in her middle years. She said:
"Excuse me. I had my eye on that chicken."
I proceeded to have the following thoughts:
"Really? This chicken? There are, like, eight other chickens here. Are we really going to throw down over this particular Safeway BBQ chicken?
Also . . . really? Lady - it's a chicken. There are far more dire things going on in the world than having some creampuff make off with the poultry you'd claimed IN YOUR MIND. Maybe if you visit my blog later this week, you can read about some of these things. Because this week, I have the very great honour of hosting my dear friend Ron Hudson's brilliant blog carnival, the International Carnival of Pozitivities. It will educate you and make you think. It will make you sad and it will give you hope. It will inspire you to get involved in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. Most importantly, it will give you some much needed perspective. In short, you'll so get over this chicken."
Sadly, I did not have the chance to deliver this speech to the lady who wanted my chicken, because while I was standing there thinking about it, she took the chicken and left. That's right. Removed it from me and departed. I fear my words would have been lost on her. Because clearly, she had her own problems. And possibly her own carnival. But the incident reminded me that having some perspective is pretty key and that I should work on that more. And also that total freaks shop at that Safeway.
Welcome to Edition 2.9 of the International Carnival of Pozitivities! The Carnival's mission is to provide a forum for those living with or affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. As Ron says, this pretty much includes everyone living on Earth today. Edition 2.8 of the Carnival was hosted by Dragonette over at NotPerfectAtAll , so be sure and check it out - great job, Dragonette!
Jealous? Don't Be - You Too Can Host the Carnival!
This is my second time hosting the carnival and I want to thank my friend Ron Hudson for giving me this opportunity to get involved and for making it such a breeze to host. Ron is looking for more folks to host the carnival on their blog in the coming months. Ron makes it extremely easy for us hosts and it doesn't matter if you usually just blog about your cat - every blog is welcome! Contact Ron to volunteer!
Stephen Bailous of Napwa submitted Napwa - This is My Story, a post about how the National Association of People With AIDS is offering you the opportunity to tell your story about how HIV/AIDS has affected your life.
NAPWA expects that more individuals will come forward to tell their stories about HIV. Through the series, NAPWA hopes to reduce stigma, increase testing, and improve the use of social networks for people living with HIV. There are lots of statistics about HIV, but data only becomes real when it strikes home.
Suffering happens, but it doesn’t last forever, and every pain endured contains a lesson to be learned. A warrior’s perspective can help us to understand and accept the natural cycle of good times and bad times, and to appreciate the uses of both.
African-American Resource Center -- Profiles in Courage: David P. Lee, posted at The Body is a great, in-depth interview with David P. Lee about living with HIV, African-American identity and HIV, Disclosure and Relationships and other really interesting topics. There are lots of other profiles on the site as well - amazing stuff.
When people ask me how I got HIV, my usual response is that, "I got it by being a human doing human things." The question implies that you did something bad and therefore deserved to get HIV. People do not usually ask, "How did you get your cancer?" The truth of the matter is that everyone who acquires HIV got it by being human -- period.
Fuzeon is so 2001 anyway, I needed to keep up with what was more fashionable, and Integrase Inhibitors are it baby!
"Oh yes, I do love the Internet, and I guess it is a tool that has made us gay Ugandans and Africans get out of our villages and realize that the parish priest's homophobia is not universal opinion. Surprise, surprise!"
Art & Crafts
VisualAIDS is a New York based organization that "strives to increase public awareness of AIDS through the visual arts, creating programs of exhibitions, events and publications, and working in partnership with artists, galleries, museums and AIDS organizations". Over at the Visual AIDS Blog, Nelson Santos posted about some hot stickers and even hotter postcards (I blushed) last month in his post Safer Sex Broadsides. There are buttocks on display, so depending where you work, this might be NSFW.
Author RM Guzman is the creator of Alzmek: The Fictional Memoir of a Tainted Life. He says:
Although it is showing the "darker" side of HIV, it tells a story of how one person could alter the lives of so many people. I promise the main character does not villianize HIV, but rather, shows it in a light we (as long term survivors) can identify, seeing the face of AIDS change every single day.
The book has a website - www.alzmek.com and the main character blogs at www.alzmek.com/blog. This video below - AIDS: The Best of Sebastian Alzmek - was made to be shown at a presentation the author gave on February 29, 2008 in Los Angeles to a HIV/AIDS activism group.
WARNING: The video contains some graphic and disturbing images and is definitely NSFW.
Here's a link to the Spanish version: SIDA: Lo Mejor de Sebastian Alzmek.
Guest artist Farid de la Ossa shares his wonderful painting and his thoughts on life in San Francisco in Protected by San Francisco: Guest Artist Farid de la Ossa, posted at 2sides2ron.
One year ago I arrived in San Francisco for the first time. Since then, my attention has been called to all the services and all the many people and institutions that are always willing to help LGBTQ people and people with HIV who come from anywhere in the world to this city. In honor of the wonderful attention that San Francisco has given me and many others who have come to the Bay Area, I decided to make this painting.
FINALLY, some knitting! Rachel Walden at Women's Health News posted Knit a Condom Amulet! about the work A Little Red Hen's
Naomi Dagen Bloom (NYC activist and knitter) is doing to reduce the
stigma around carrying condoms and showing them off. I HAD to post a
picture - look how cute! I don't have much call for condoms in MY day
to day, but I know a few folks who might see these in their Solstice
We all have our heroes and our angels. We know, love or care for someone who is a source of strength to help us get through the tough times of living with HIV/AIDS. I consider this song a tribute to those people who have touched my life and given me the strength to carry on.
Health & Education
Ellen Landauer of Health Freedom Coaching covers some ways to combat anxiety and depression in her post Nutritional Supplements for Depression and Anxiety. It's a great article with lots of interesting information - but make sure you consult with a doctor before supplementing your anti-HIV regimen to ensure that there are no drug interactions.
Life coach Rob Moshe blogs about the rewards of helping others realize their potential in his post Live Your Best Life By Serving Others. While this article is not directly related to HIV/AIDS, it certainly resonates with the ideal of the ICP.
I have a particular interest in Herrera's post Diet Tips for Preventing High Cholesterol Levels on his blog Life. Money. Development. 'cause the high cholesterol runs in my family, like a fat gazelle. These all look like great tips, but again, it's good to consult your doctor about managing your cholesterol.
News & Information
Romeo Vitelli at Providentia posted a piece called Why Aren't Some AIDS Patients Getting Treatment? about how "in a recently released study by the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV-AIDS, an alarming forty per cent of the people who died of HIV-AIDS in British Columbia never sought life-saving treatment even though it was free." A really interesting article about how the costs of medications aren't the only barriers to treatment.
Dr. Dave Wessner of Davidson College posted The Stigmatization of Homosexuals and Individuals Living with HIV/AIDS in Jamaica, W.I. at The AIDS Pandemic.
In the Caribbean, the most stigmatized groups that have HIV/AIDS are homosexuals (particularly men) and sex workers. As a result of this stigmatization, homosexuals and sex workers are denied health care and are victims of harassment and hate crimes in many Caribbean islands.
Last year, MedMira obtained government approval, including in the MR, for selling it's Multiplo combination HIV/HCV rapid test. No easy feat for any company. To make any progress in Russia, you must have a highly and well connected partner. Not simply one that pays bribes, it goes beyond that.
The End? The Beginning!
Thank you all for coming and reading and thinking and clicking. Hope this edition of the ICP helped, inspired and interested you. If you liked what you read, please take the time to leave comments on the contributors' blogs and let them know. We all love feedback!
As of this post, Ron is still looking for someone to host April's carnival. If you're interested, step into his office! I bet he'll make you tea. Or at least a pound cake. Because he's lovely.