WeekDaily Blogging and I Dream of Bieber

February 12, 2011

So I’m loving this daily blog stuff. I enjoy passing along interesting bits of news and random stories to fill in for the general lack of excitement in my own life. And really, that’s kind of what blogging and social networking has evolved into- more of a sharing of information as well as a way to express ones self which is how it started.

But, one conclusion I have come to is that I don’t think I’ll be able to keep up with 7 blog posts a week. I’d rather have a WeekDaily Blog than a Weak Daily Blog.  Of course, if anything urgent is happening or I have a particularly compelling dream on a Friday night that I must share, then sure, I’ll post something…

Like just this past week.  One of my favorite wrestlers these days, CM Punk, had an epic unplanned nosebleed on Monday Night Raw on live television.  The kind of gusher that took me back to my childhood with hemophilia.  He soldiered through it during the whole bit- which involved scrapping with Randy Orton (whose clumsy lunge caused the unintentional damage).  Well, that nosebleed made it into my dream, only it wasn’t CM Punk who was sporting it.  I was having a talk with another wrestler, Edge, when Justin Bieber turns up- with a massive nosebleed.

Strange, huh?

OK, so maybe I won’t be posting about my dreams on the weekend.

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a great Saturday afternoon.  Me?  I’m about to go get an iced mocha.  I know, big surprise.

Positively Yours,
Shawn

A big thank you to my weekend mocha sponsors: Joyce Anderson and Lauren Hoffman, who gave me a welcome home mocha on Friday after Gwenn and I returned from a trip to snowy Kansas City this week.  Thanks, ladies!

Watch, Friend and Follow me on:
YouTube, Facebook and Twitter
Website: ShawnandGwenn.com
Also check out the lovely Gwenn’s Fashion/Coffee Blog

My CD, Synthetic Division, A Symptom of Life, is on iTunes!

SHARE THE BLOG. NOT THE VIRUS.

Bookmark and  Share

In Depth Super Bowl Analysis (via Twitter)

February 6, 2011

twitter-superbowl-update.jpgFor more real-time musings and outbursts of anger, click on the tweet above and follow me on Twitter.

Positively Yours,
Shawn

Watch, Friend and Follow me on:
YouTube, Facebook and Twitter
Website: ShawnandGwenn.com
Also check out the lovely Gwenn’s Fashion/Coffee Blog

My CD, Synthetic Division, A Symptom of Life, is on iTunes!

SHARE THE BLOG. NOT THE VIRUS.

Bookmark and  Share

Would You Eat a Condom for a Good Cause?

February 4, 2011

Saw this on Bob Bower’s newsfeed over on Facebook, and just had to share the link.  “Demon Chef” Alvin Leung created a dish called “Sex on the Beach”, and it’s entirely edible, with proceeds going to an AIDS organization in Hong Kong where it’s available.  Read the article here: you gotta see it to believe it.

Positively Yours,
Shawn

Watch, Friend and Follow me on:
YouTube, Facebook and Twitter
Website: ShawnandGwenn.com
Also check out the lovely Gwenn’s Fashion/Coffee Blog

My CD, Synthetic Division, A Symptom of Life, is on iTunes!

SHARE THE BLOG. NOT THE VIRUS.

Bookmark and  Share

MegaPython VS. Gatoroid- Tonite!

January 29, 2011

It can’t be all AIDS, or all me, all the time on this blog.  Sometimes a light- even if it’s a pin light- must be shown on other things… and tonight, on the SyFy Network, something magical is happening.  1980′s teen pop icons Tiffany and Debbie Gibson are starring in… MegaPython VS. Gatoroid!

Don’t believe me? Here’s a sneak peak of the icons wrestling in the movie.

Oh yeah!

Gwenn doesn’t know it yet, but this is what we are doing tonight…

Positively Yours,
Shawn

Watch, Friend and Follow me on:
YouTube, Facebook and Twitter
Website: ShawnandGwenn.com
Also check out the lovely Gwenn’s Fashion/Coffee Blog

My CD, Synthetic Division, A Symptom of Life, is on iTunes!

SHARE THE BLOG. NOT THE VIRUS.

Bookmark and  Share

Black Swan and HIV

January 25, 2011

I finally managed to see Black Swan, which is one of those movies I was excited to see until it got overexposed, as if something popular somehow loses it’s ability to be any good.  That just isn’t true, but my subconscious movie buzz does seem to suffer if I hear too much about a movie before seeing it, or see too much when a trailer reveals every decent scene or character’s intention.

So, consider this sentence my spoiler alert.  SPOILER ALERT. There, that’s better.

Not much to spoil by now.  Black Swan is the tale of a dancer, Natalie Portman, trying to make the best of a wonderful opportunity as the lead in Swan Lake.  Since my blog really shines when I make everything about HIV, I’ll focus on why this movie is really about new HIV infections…

huh?

Portman’s character is a very sheltered young woman, probably in her early twenties.  She still lives with mom, has a lot of dolls in her room and even a little ballerina music box by her bed.  As she becomes obsessed with her new role and strives for perfection, she rebels against her coddling mother and her own self-image by cutting loose one evening with a fellow dancer.  Things get way out of hand, and Portman is left the next day with a hangover and wondering whether or not she slept with two men or her friend.

Or all of them.

Oh, and mom- she’s really pissed off, too.

Her character’s dramatic metamorphosis from sheltered girl to risk-taking party animal does provide a glimpse into how quickly a sexual awakening can occur.  In terms of HIV, there’s an assumption that the newly infected, particularly if they are under the age of 24, are all just wild party animals asking for trouble. But it only takes that one weekend of dropping your guard- or a pill into your drink as Portman’s character did- to put yourself at risk..

The movie made me think: a lot of parents lock their children up, thinking it will keep them safe from the world.  But you can’t lock a human’s own humanity out of them.  Those thoughts and a curiosity about sex are going to happen, and the best way to protect them is sharing important information at each appropriate place during their emotional development.  I can’t imagine it’s easy to figure out the right time to have the right conversations, but a gradual building of trust and a comfortable and non-judgmental attitude about talking about sex shouldn’t be as hard as it seems to be for a lot of folks.  The idea should be to create that trust, and hope the child comes to you with those questions instead of just firing out lectures hoping that one or two take.

There’s no follow-up on whether there were any consequences to that wild night in the movie, of course, but it did make me think as an HIV educator.  When sex education in public schools has been removed, and parents in general aren’t having the conversations they need to be having to fill in those gaps, what can be done to make people less inclined to engage in risky behaviors as a way of discovering the unnecessarily guilty pleasures of sex?  

The whole issue of sexual health isn’t a black swan, or a white swan.  It’s gray. And by sharing our own experiences (as positoids and negatoids, and also as parents who were once teenagers and need to remember that) we can help each other add some color to that dreary gray swan.

Positively Yours,
Shawn

Watch, Friend and Follow me on:
YouTube, Facebook and Twitter
Website: ShawnandGwenn.com
Also check out the lovely Gwenn’s Fashion/Coffee Blog

My CD, Synthetic Division, A Symptom of Life, is on iTunes!

SHARE THE BLOG. NOT THE VIRUS.

Bookmark and  Share

There She Goes, A Miss America Who Cares About AIDS

January 13, 2011

On Saturday night, Caressa Cameron will be passing her crown on to the next Miss America.  Caressa is unique in the world of pageants due to her understanding of HIV, and that it is a problem that needs to be addressed in- you guessed it- the United States.  The last time we had a Miss America that cared so deeply about this issue was in 1998 when Kate Shindle wore the crown.

I had a chance to speak with Caressa on the phone shortly after she won the title last year, here’s a link to the Poz interview.
caressa-cameron.jpg
In recent years, the Miss America Organization has partnered with The Children’s Miracle Network.  It’s a great and worthy cause, but that partnership along with some corporate responsibilities has made the year enjoyed by today’s crown-bearer much different than that of year’s past.  For instance, when Kate Shindle won, the title holder had a year to promote their own individual cause.  Kate caused a stir when she advocated for clean needle exchange programs to prevent HIV transmission.

I know Caressa would have liked to have done more with her “platform” during her year as Miss America. That’s what they call them in pageants, by the way, “platforms”, but in Caressa’s case it’s more than a word or a trendy cause.  HIV is something that touched her life on a personal level when she lost a close relative at a very young age.  It’s what inspired her to learn more and start educating.  She probably did more educating about HIV in the years before winning Miss America, when she was Miss Arlington, than she did as Miss America, which is a shame, because she could have extended the great work she did in the state of Virginia to the rest of the country.  Imagine Miss America drawing attention to, say, the fact that over 5,000 Americans with HIV are on drug waiting lists?

Instead, the Miss America web site has her national platform issue listed as being an Ambassador for Children’s Miracle network, and her real platform issue typed wrong: “Real Talk: Aids in America”.  Caressa would never spell “AIDS” using lower-case letters.  She knows it’s an acronym, and she knows it’s a serious, multi-faceted issue that needs to be discussed.

I’m hoping that now, with the hard-earned title of Miss America forever attached to her name, that Caressa will be able to address the topic and reach people she may not have been able to before.  I know that she wanted to, and I just can’t help but wonder- if she would have had more freedom to talk about HIV- how many lives would have been changed.

Positively Yours,
Shawn
Watch, Friend and Follow me on:
YouTube, Facebook and Twitter
Website: ShawnandGwenn.com Also check out
the lovely Gwenn’s
Fashion/Coffee Blog

My CD, Synthetic Division, A Symptom of Life, is on iTunes!

SHARE THE BLOG. NOT THE VIRUS.

Bookmark and  Share

Freddie Mercury Goes To Hollywood

January 10, 2011

Of all the musicians with HIV in the history of music, our crowned jewel in the positoid community is, without a doubt, Freddie Mercury of Queen. Don’t get me wrong, there have been many other greats- Andy Bell of Erasure, Holly Johnson of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Shawn Decker of Synthetic Division…

But Freddie beats them all.  One of the greatest frontmen and singers of all-time, he put negatoids like Steven Tyler and Robert Plant to shame, tucking them in like toddlers at bed-time who were anxious to learn more from “Ready Freddie” when the next day began.  Unfortunately, Freddie was taken from us very early in his journey, but his quirky music has sustained- perhaps even gotten better with age- and has influenced a lot of the mainstream acts of today.

I was first touched by his music when I went to see Revenge of the Nerds with my parents and brother.  “We Are the Champions” wrapped up that all-time classic film. Later in junior high school, my brother started to listen to them more seriously.  Then when I got to high school, a few years into my own silent way of dealing with my diagnosis, it was reported on MTV News that Freddie died… from AIDS.

And he was very secret about his status, to which I could relate at the time.

Now his story is about to get the Hollywood treatment, thus opening up the Queen saga to a whole new fanbase for the first time since Wayne and Garth and friends sang Bohemian Rhapsody in a drug-induced car ride in 1992, a year after Freddie passed.  And who’s going to play him?

Sacha Baron Cohen of Borat and Bruno fame.

freddie-mercury_sacha-baron-cohen.jpg

Some may balk.  But I actually think Sacha is capable of playing a serious role. The greatest comedians, much like the greatest musicians, channel their pain into their craft, and I don’t think it’s such a stretch that a performer as deft as Cohen could do justice to Freddie’s life story.  The one thing that I didn’t quite enjoy reading was that the movie will end with the band’s glorious set at Live Aid in 1985, which is a full six years before he passed to spirit.

I know I’m interested in aspects of his story that the general public may not be, but I want to know what those six years were like.  I want to know how he dealt with the pressures of an HIV diagnosis and a huge business, which is what Queen were at the time when his health was in decline.  The rise to rock stardom story has been told many times on film- but Freddie’s story is a unique opportunity to tell more than just that two dimensional ride.

Freddie Mercury is the most famous musician to die from AIDS.  To overlook that aspect of his life story is a massive mistake, and demands more than just a scroll of text over the sounds of Bohemian Rhapsody in the final seconds of the movie just before the credits roll.

Positively Yours,
Shawn

Watch, Friend and Follow me on:

YouTube, Facebook and Twitter

Website: ShawnandGwenn.com Also check out the lovely Gwenn’s Fashion/Coffee Blog

My CD, Synthetic Division, A Symptom of Life, is on iTunes!

SHARE THE BLOG. NOT THE VIRUS.

Bookmark and  Share

Favorite TV Show of 2010: Infomania

January 3, 2011

I know a lot of people like The Soup and Tosh.0, but when I want someone standing in front of a green screen delivering the funnies, I want Infomania.  In my humble opinion it is the best because of it’s great cast of purveyors of wit and pop culture observations.

Here’s a segment from their year-end show, in which host Conor Knighton revisits some incredible 2010 moments that will hopefully not be repeated in 2011.

Also check out Ben Hoffman’s observation on why he feels the year 2010 sucked.  I think Ben really shines on his kid’s show, Kid’s Kouch. If you are blessed with TiVo or DVR, do yourself a favor and add Infomania to your sacred list of watchables.

Hope your new year is off to a great start!

Positively Yours,
Shawn

Watch, Friend and Follow me on:
YouTube, Facebook and Twitter
Website: ShawnandGwenn.com Also check out the lovely Gwenn’s Fashion/Coffee Blog
My CD, Synthetic Division, A Symptom of Life, is on iTunes!

SHARE THE BLOG. NOT THE VIRUS.

Bookmark and  Share

« Previous PageNext Page »

  • Speaking About Sexual Health


    Since 2000, Shawn and Gwenn have been speaking about sexual health together, sharing their personal story and empowering others to be safe. If you are interested in having them speak at your event, fill out the Contact Us form.

    Synthetic Division: A Symptom of Life

    Check out Shawn's music and buy his book, My Pet Virus, which is now available on Kindle! It will be the funniest book you've ever read about someone having AIDS... guaranteed!

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Categories

Home | About Us | Blog | Books | Speaking | Media | Contact