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Archive for the ‘Stigma’ Category

FRIDAY MOVIE:  NOV. 17

BPM – BEATS PER MINUTE  

(An AIDS ACT-UP Docu-Drama)

Image result for bpm movie.

 

bpmimage

 

GATEWAY THEATRE

STARTS 7 PM

********

After Movie We Walk to:

BIG LOUIE’S PIZZERIA (1990 E Sunrise)

(Meet there at 9:15 if not going to movie)

 

*********

 

CLICK HERE FOR PREVIEW

.

About the Movie

In Paris in the early 1990s, a group of activists goes to battle for those stricken with HIV/AIDS, taking on sluggish government agencies and major pharmaceutical companies in bold, invasive actions. The organization is ACT UP, and its members, many of them gay and HIV-positive, embrace their mission with a literal life-or-death urgency. Amid rallies, protests, fierce debates and ecstatic dance parties, the newcomer Nathan falls in love with Sean, the group’s radical firebrand, and their passion sparks against the shadow of mortality as the activists fight for a breakthrough..

 

Image result for bpm movie

 

REVIEW:

 

Photo: Momento Film

The title of the stark French AIDS-crisis drama BPM stands for “beats per minute,” which can evoke a heartbeat or a discotheque, both of which figure in the film. What you also might think of is a clock ticking down, as the main characters — virtually all of them HIV-positive — rage against the dying of the light. Directed and co-written (with Philippe Mangeot) by the Morocco-born Robin Campillo, the film takes place in 1989 and centers on the Paris branch of ACT UP, whose members devise stunts to call attention to government’s and pharmaceutical companies’ foot-dragging in the fight against a near-genocidal epidemic. Along with that rage is a coming-together that has resonated through the intervening decades.

.

The movie opens with a stunt, an onstage assault on a health secretary who, at least on a surface level, appears to be doing his best. That’s one of the most unsettling aspects of BPM: At first glance, the “villains” don’t seem villainous, while the “heroes” can be frightening. The health secretary attempts to engage the protesters in conversation, only to be smashed in the face with a fake-blood balloon and handcuffed to a railing. Later, the group defaces a drug-company office, hissing at a doctor who says he feels their pain. ACT UP is, after all, about acting up, being rude and inappropriate. Looking back, we know a drug cocktail would eventually be concocted that keeps people alive a long time. But no one knew it then. All they knew was … nothing, really. Rumors of drug trials. The occasional supportive word from a mayor or governor or president — though not, of course, in the U.S. under Reagan and not in New York, where the closeted Ed Koch’s fear of aligning himself with gays kept AIDS off the political agenda. All the members of ACT UP know is that friends and lovers are sprouting lesions, weakening, and dying in agony.

.

You understand those stakes when Campillo depicts ACT UP meetings in a vertical classroom, where members aren’t allowed to clap or cheer — only to use finger snaps to signal their agreement or approval. It’s an eerie sound, more haunting than applause, because those snaps don’t reverberate. They’re more urgent than handclaps, but in a void. The group’s leader, Thibault (Antoine Reinartz), has the task of entertaining wildly disparate ideas for future demonstrations and slogans. He must mediate between people who want more violence and people who want less. He also has to reach out to drug companies for reports of trials while making sure no one in the group mistakes him for a diplomat. His evident second-in-command, Sophie (Adèle Haenel), is generally on the side of the chaos-makers. Against this are segments of the Paris gay community that think ACT UP is made up of a bunch of killjoy malcontents.

.

The first half of BPM is chill, impersonal, doubtlessly intentional given Campillo’s focus on the collective rather than the individual. But a central pair emerges. Nahuel Perez Biscayart and Arnaud Valois are Sean and Nathan, whose love affair interrupts the flow of meetings and demonstrations. Sean became infected at 16, via his first encounter, and will probably die before 20. He’s among the fiercest of ACT UP’s members, the one who feels the need to do damage most insistently. It’s Nathan who listens to him, tempers him (to a point), and gives him the kind of love he never had. Campillo isn’t as resourceful in their bedroom scenes. His camera loiters and the action is generalized — he loses the dramatic beat. But we’re with the movie by this point. And we’re hungry for a sense of intimacy in a world of public declarations.

.

The most curious elements of BPM are its act-ending disco interludes — streaky, throbbing, sometimes intercut with microscopic views of cells. My guess is that they’re there as a reminder that the AIDS crisis was a cruel, shattering end to an age of abandon (and promiscuity), one that marked gays’ public declaration of independence from having to hide in the shadows for so long. To borrow the title of another movie, these were the true last days of disco.

.

BPM is vital for the history it depicts, but it’s also important in the here and now, as a testament to public action — even messy, not-always-effective public action. The characters look around and see their society functioning smoothly, as if there wasn’t a plague in its midst. Comparisons to the present are always dangerous, but let’s live dangerously: The very ecosystem is collapsing around us, with omens coming faster and faster of the catastrophe to come. We should watch BPM and ask, “How disruptive are we willing to be?”

 

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FRIDAY MOVIE:  NOV. 17

BPM – BEATS PER MINUTE  

(An AIDS ACT-UP Docu-Drama)

Image result for bpm movie.

 

bpmimage

 

GATEWAY THEATRE

STARTS 7 PM

********

After Movie We Walk to:

BIG LOUIE’S PIZZERIA (1990 E Sunrise)

(Meet there at 9:15 if not going to movie)

 

*********

 

CLICK HERE FOR PREVIEW

.

About the Movie

In Paris in the early 1990s, a group of activists goes to battle for those stricken with HIV/AIDS, taking on sluggish government agencies and major pharmaceutical companies in bold, invasive actions. The organization is ACT UP, and its members, many of them gay and HIV-positive, embrace their mission with a literal life-or-death urgency. Amid rallies, protests, fierce debates and ecstatic dance parties, the newcomer Nathan falls in love with Sean, the group’s radical firebrand, and their passion sparks against the shadow of mortality as the activists fight for a breakthrough..

 

Image result for bpm movie

 

REVIEW:

 

Photo: Momento Film

The title of the stark French AIDS-crisis drama BPM stands for “beats per minute,” which can evoke a heartbeat or a discotheque, both of which figure in the film. What you also might think of is a clock ticking down, as the main characters — virtually all of them HIV-positive — rage against the dying of the light. Directed and co-written (with Philippe Mangeot) by the Morocco-born Robin Campillo, the film takes place in 1989 and centers on the Paris branch of ACT UP, whose members devise stunts to call attention to government’s and pharmaceutical companies’ foot-dragging in the fight against a near-genocidal epidemic. Along with that rage is a coming-together that has resonated through the intervening decades.

.

The movie opens with a stunt, an onstage assault on a health secretary who, at least on a surface level, appears to be doing his best. That’s one of the most unsettling aspects of BPM: At first glance, the “villains” don’t seem villainous, while the “heroes” can be frightening. The health secretary attempts to engage the protesters in conversation, only to be smashed in the face with a fake-blood balloon and handcuffed to a railing. Later, the group defaces a drug-company office, hissing at a doctor who says he feels their pain. ACT UP is, after all, about acting up, being rude and inappropriate. Looking back, we know a drug cocktail would eventually be concocted that keeps people alive a long time. But no one knew it then. All they knew was … nothing, really. Rumors of drug trials. The occasional supportive word from a mayor or governor or president — though not, of course, in the U.S. under Reagan and not in New York, where the closeted Ed Koch’s fear of aligning himself with gays kept AIDS off the political agenda. All the members of ACT UP know is that friends and lovers are sprouting lesions, weakening, and dying in agony.

.

You understand those stakes when Campillo depicts ACT UP meetings in a vertical classroom, where members aren’t allowed to clap or cheer — only to use finger snaps to signal their agreement or approval. It’s an eerie sound, more haunting than applause, because those snaps don’t reverberate. They’re more urgent than handclaps, but in a void. The group’s leader, Thibault (Antoine Reinartz), has the task of entertaining wildly disparate ideas for future demonstrations and slogans. He must mediate between people who want more violence and people who want less. He also has to reach out to drug companies for reports of trials while making sure no one in the group mistakes him for a diplomat. His evident second-in-command, Sophie (Adèle Haenel), is generally on the side of the chaos-makers. Against this are segments of the Paris gay community that think ACT UP is made up of a bunch of killjoy malcontents.

.

The first half of BPM is chill, impersonal, doubtlessly intentional given Campillo’s focus on the collective rather than the individual. But a central pair emerges. Nahuel Perez Biscayart and Arnaud Valois are Sean and Nathan, whose love affair interrupts the flow of meetings and demonstrations. Sean became infected at 16, via his first encounter, and will probably die before 20. He’s among the fiercest of ACT UP’s members, the one who feels the need to do damage most insistently. It’s Nathan who listens to him, tempers him (to a point), and gives him the kind of love he never had. Campillo isn’t as resourceful in their bedroom scenes. His camera loiters and the action is generalized — he loses the dramatic beat. But we’re with the movie by this point. And we’re hungry for a sense of intimacy in a world of public declarations.

.

The most curious elements of BPM are its act-ending disco interludes — streaky, throbbing, sometimes intercut with microscopic views of cells. My guess is that they’re there as a reminder that the AIDS crisis was a cruel, shattering end to an age of abandon (and promiscuity), one that marked gays’ public declaration of independence from having to hide in the shadows for so long. To borrow the title of another movie, these were the true last days of disco.

.

BPM is vital for the history it depicts, but it’s also important in the here and now, as a testament to public action — even messy, not-always-effective public action. The characters look around and see their society functioning smoothly, as if there wasn’t a plague in its midst. Comparisons to the present are always dangerous, but let’s live dangerously: The very ecosystem is collapsing around us, with omens coming faster and faster of the catastrophe to come. We should watch BPM and ask, “How disruptive are we willing to be?”

 

Read Full Post »

pea-ridgeThree students in Arkansas have been barred from attending school after administrators began to suspect they might be HIV-positive, according to local Arkansas outlet 5NEWS.
Pea Ridge Public School officials told the students, who are siblings, that they could not attend school until they provided documentation regarding their HIV status. Officials had previously found records suggesting that one of the students and the biological mother may be HIV-positive, according to a press release from The Disability Rights Center (DRC) of Arkansas last week.
The students, two of whom have disabilities, returned to school the next day without documentation regarding their HIV status. When they arrived, they were kept from class, and officials asked their foster parents to bring the students home, the press release stated.
The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits schools from excluding students based on their HIV status.
“The actions taken by the Superintendent of Pea Ridge School District are appalling and is reminiscent of times past and the case of Ryan White,” Tom Masseau, executive director of DRC, said in a press release. “The fact that the foster families have to provide documentation that the children are HIV negative before entering the school is unlawful and immoral.”
On Monday, the school district released a statement confirming that it was requiring the siblings to provide documentation of their HIV status, local outlet KNWA-TV reports. The statement reads, in part:

As reported in the media, the district has recently required some students to provide test results regarding their HIV status in order to formulate a safe and appropriate education plan for those children. This rare requirement is due to certain actions and behaviors that place students and staff at risk.

A letter from the district’s superintendent to the family reportedly cites a policy from the Arkansas School Board Association as explanation for banning the students. The policy says schools can bar students with communicable diseases, according to KNWA-TV. Still, as noted by the outlet, HIV is not considered a communicable disease.

Unfortunately, this is not the only time in recent memory that students have been excluded from school based on their HIV status. In 2011, a Pennsylvania private school denied admission to a student because he was HIV-positive. After the AIDS Law Project sued the school, the school reversed its policy and agreed to provide HIV sensitivity training to students and staff. 

To read article click here

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The topic this Wednesday April 10, 2013 is HIV/AIDS stigma.   Its been said that Stigma can be as deadly as the disease itself.

 

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Viral Divide

HIV Stigma Among Gay Men

To read full article CLICK HERE 

                                        When the boogie man is among us, we humans tend to point fingers. So it’s no surprise to me that many gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men who do not have HIV (or think they do not) point fingers at those of us who do have HIV. We’re all only human.
After all, I was once HIV negative. I haven’t forgotten what it was like to be  afraid of contracting HIV. Unfortunately for me, that fear became  reality. Fortunately for most, that fear is never realized.
For too  many, that fear is a heavy burden. For some, they believe that fear is  as bad as having HIV (trust me, it’s not). For a few, that fear becomes  irrational.
The viral divide between HIV-negative and HIV-positive gay men has existed since the beginning of the AIDS pandemic. However, it does seem to me that the divide is just as bad now as it has ever been. Acknowledging the viral divide exists is the first step toward bridging it. To that end, I applaud blogger Rich Juzwiak for diving head first into the topic.
“Please Don’t Infect Me, I’m Sorry” is the title of his post. As an HIV-negative gay man, he shares his personal struggles with staying HIV negative and with dating HIV-positive gay men:

[T]he chances are that I have hooked up with an HIV-positive guy or five  and didn’t know it. Maybe I didn’t know it because he didn’t know it.  Maybe I didn’t know it because he was a liar. Maybe I didn’t ask…getting tested is never less than horrifying, no matter how regularly I do it…
I think I’m HIV negative, but since the virus can three months to  show up in blood, I can’t really be sure. In fact, none of us who are  sexually active can be sure – except for those who are HIV positive.
Therein lies the hypocrisy in turning down a potential hookup who a) knows his  status, and b) is honest about it in favor of one who doesn’t or is  lying about it. That kind of discrimination is motivated by fear of the  known while taking an agnostic approach to the unknown. It’s especially  foolhardy considering that guys who know they are HIV-positive tend to  be healthier and with lower viral loads than guys who don’t know they  have it and are going untreated. The kind of optimism that assumes  someone’s word is as good as a hard copy of a test result is potentially life-altering.

And yet, I’ve turned down guys who are open about their positive status. I watched the onset of AIDS in the ’80s through  the confused eyes of a child. I had it drilled into me that this was a  disease to stay far, far away from. I also know better than to sleep  with someone who announces himself as HIV positive. Or knew. Now I’m not exactly sure what to think. I feel guilty and scared, but not  necessarily in that order.

Juzwiak goes on to share his experiences not dating and dating certain HIV-positive guys and the lessons he learned.

An interesting point that I hadn’t thought much about before Juzwiak pointed it out is the “East vs. West Coast divide” on dating guys with HIV. A friend of his from San Francisco told him that, generally speaking, East Coast gay guys are much more uptight about dating guys with HIV. No reasons for such a difference were

Whatever the numbers, I believe the fact that so many gay men have HIV should motivate gay men who do not have HIV to be more educated about the virus and less judgmental

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