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February 18 2013


Cash Rules Everything Around Me (C.R.E.A.M)

As an HIV advocate, I, and others, sometimes have to try to make living with HIV look easy and doable.  For me, most of the positive self-talk and resulting positive public image that it helps me put on the face of being a person living with HIV is good for my spirit and health, and hopefully useful for those who might need to know that wellness is possible in spite of our seemingly dire dilemma.  In fact, for those of us who have come to understand that in this system of capitalism, our life stories are one of our most valuable commodities.  Our ability to position ourselves to market our stories, and any other creditable, useful information that our experience has garnered, can directly influence our ability to capitalize monetarily on that valuable information.  Like my good friend Luther Brock says, “In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king!”

This may sound a bit cold and calculating in light of the nature of the seriousness that HIV and AIDS represent, but that seriousness is what makes the experience and the story even more valuable.  In this society where “reality” shows and real life dramas dominate, and where fear is the predominate energy behind many unique selling propositions (see gun sales), a good redemption story that can touch the hearts of many. A touching life story of the young girl unknowingly infected by the dastardly bastard who didn’t tell her he had the virus, or the “Lazarus-like” resurrection of the AIDS patient who cheated death after beginning treatment are drama filled stories, both stoking the fears of personal consequence and igniting the hopes of those afflicted.  Real life stories like these can definitely be effectively sold (see books below).  The fact is, if you are in this life situation, or any other for that matter, where you health and quality of life depend on how much money you have, you better get creative about how you are going to survive in this system of capitalism because your life depends on it!  

In capitalistic systems like the one we live in, even though we have “lifesaving” medicines, if you can’t pay for them, or can’t pay the co-pay, you may not get them. Life enhancing therapies cost money.  Serving our people by going to conferences and other speaking engagements cost money, and many times we are asked to do these events on our own dime, or for less than what is paid to others in similar, yet less dire situations.  Sometimes the money is there to pay us well, but somehow the value of our stories ends up being diminished by the need to feed “Capitalism” and the machine that makes it run.

 Sure, you may be blessed to have fallen (more likely crawled) into the social safety net of social security, but for the most part that simply takes care of your basic needs.  If you  want to really live well, you are going to have to make a few more dollars than that, and if you are living with a scary disease like HIV, you may not be able to work, so you need to know that the truth about your life experiences has redeeming value.  You just have to figure out how to market it AND get paid fairly, because in “Capitalism” most people are trying to get rich by employing cheap labor.  The dirty little secret is that like everything else, the HIV industry is big business too.  It may, for many, be a business born from altruism, but it IS big business nonetheless.  If you doubt that, ask yourself how your livelihood and cash flow would be affected if there was a cure found today?

So, let’s all be honest about what is really the common denominator of our motivations in a capitalistic society such as the one in which we live.  It may seem like a cold calculation at first, but when you divide it with the warmth of empathy, love, and concern for our fellow man, well...you still get a great book or movie (cue the music) that could help someone through or around an experience like mine.  Living with HIV is NOT easy.  Life is not easy.  If something I can share can help you or anyone, my life has gained great intrinsic value as a result.  Unfortunately, cash rules everything around me (C.R.E.A.M) so I’m gonna have to do like everybody else and figure out how to get paid in the process, so I can keep doing the other stuff I like to do.  If you have a story about living with, around or in fear of HIV, you might want to do likewise.  Together, the 99% of us with the stories might someday get or create what we are truly worth.

Please support authors who are sharing their lives living with HIV with you.

“Surrender To Heal” - 7 Ways to Rise Above the Battlefield of Lifeby Reggie Smith
“From The Crack House to the White House” - by Denise Stokes
“I’m Still Here”  - by Venus Perez  

Subscribe to RISE4WAR.com - a multimedia magazine focused on Wellness, Awareness, & Recovery especially for families affected by HIV/Hep C.

November 06 2012



The Reginald & Dionne Smith Foundation (RDSF) is taking a different approach to ending the AIDS epidemic by reaching out to those "affected" by HIV & Hep. Follow us at RISE4WAR and ReggieSmith770.com

Tags: awareness

August 16 2012


Positive Attitudes – A 12 Step Program For HIV Affected Persons by Reggie Smith

Positive Attitudes – A 12 Step Program For HIV Affected Persons

I have personally benefited from using the principles of this 12-step program for those of us who acknowledge that we are affected by HIV.  I say “those of us who have acknowledged” because most, if not all of us, have been affected by HIV.  Not everyone has come to terms with it, or has identified just how they are affected.  Let’s explore some of the scenarios with which YOU may be included in this demographic first, and then discuss whether this program may right for you.

The program has been called HIV Anonymous for over 10 years, but because the stigma of HIV would not allow many people to get past the idea of being associated with, seen around, or connected to anything with HIV in the name or title, the name of the program is now “Positive Attitudes”.  Many people are affected because they have yet to deal with the trauma of lost loved one’s.  That is especially true for those whose families have been stigmatized to the point of hiding the fact that those loved one’s were HIV+ prior to death.

Of course, if you are sexually active, you are eligible to become a host for HIV.  The mere fact that sexually active people need to navigate the minefield of truth and reconciliation, with self and partners, is reason enough to be involved in a support group.  What I have found is that our individualistic nature is something the HIV retrovirus is counting on in it’s quest to make YOU a host for HIV.  The Positive Attitudes program is an answer to the question, “what is out there for the uninfected person?”.  Where can we all go to discuss the spiritual, emotional and mental issues and behaviors that make us humans such fertile ground for manifesting HIV?

Positive Attitudes is a twelve- step support program adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous. It is a global network that offers unbiased support to people infected with, affected by, or at risk for HIV.  There is a dire need to remove the stigma and face the fears and ignorance surrounding HIV & AIDS. This fellowship is helping to reduce the prejudice and discrimination against HIV-affected individuals.  They are a fellowship of men and women who are committed to a way of life that will help fight the spread of HIV.

Positive Attitudes is a fellowship of persons who have found that living with a potentially terminal illness and/or affected by this illness is a major challenge. They are individuals who meet regularly as a group, assisting one another in this new way of life.  They have no outside affiliations.  Your past is kept in confidence within the group. They don’t thrive on your past, but concentrate on what we want for today and our future.  For many, the realization of their present conditions left them feeling dejected and depressed. They could no longer live life to its fullest. They became disoriented, and their peace of mind was displaced by uncontrollable emotions.

The folks involved in Positive Attitudes support groups are not there to change you. They are not there to segregate or impose a particular belief system upon you. However, if you feel remorse that you have transmitted HIV to another person, or if you are concerned that your behavior could spread HIV, or maybe you just want to fellowship with other people who are living in balance and harmony with HIV and AIDS, then Positive Attitudes is for you.

There are thousands of sources telling you what to do—and what not to do. Some sources claim that HIV causes AIDS and others claim that it does not. The folks at Positive Attitudes avoid getting caught up in scientific contention. We have experienced much suffering. We have seen too many broken hearts and too many people die to take one side in an unresolved scientific debate. They also emphasize Prevention for Positives, which includes prevention challenges specific to people already infected with HIV, such as re-infection with resistant strains of HIV, co-infection with hepatitis, TB, and STD’s, denial of risk, health issues, and psychosocial issues. The choice to take medication for HIV or AIDS is a decision that each individual must make.

If you have seen yourself or a loved one in your minds eye wile reading this information, then your spirit is telling you that you read it for a reason.  Do yourself a favor and start (or continue) listening to your spirit.  Reach out to these folks to let them know they are on the right track as they are working to make this program available for you.  They have a sister site for Hepatitis C with a bulletin board that is very active with treatment experienced people sharing their strength, hope and experience.

www.hivanonymous.com       www.hcvanonymous.com       Phone: 949-264-4170     HIVAspotw:vo



March 06 2012


Not On The Outside, But Inside's Strong

Anyone who has experienced death in a personal way has probably come to this one conclusion...we are all spiritual beings having a human experience.  I had always thought this to be the case, but it became most evident when I looked at the remains of my father in his casket.  I had known the spirit that had inhabited his body, and it was clear that the energy that was my father no longer "lived" in the body that lay before me.

Death is the most extreme example of  how our humanity is an energetic reality.  Pain seems to cause the kind of suffering that is causing many of my friends to arrive at this same conclusion.  Many of my peers are experiencing health challenges.  As a result, they are looking for healing solutions.  Because many of them know about the diseases (HIV/HEP-C) that I have lived with for so long, and the holistic practices I have incorporated in my lifestyle, they come to me for answers and suggestions.

When I was blessed with the opportunity to recover from active drug and alcohol addiction back in 1985, I realized that anything is possible with faith and desire.  Pain and suffering were certainly the motivation for my desire and willingness to have faith.  Shame and hopelessness plagued my mind and spirit, and I had to learn how to heal both  mind and spirit if my human body was going to ever thrive again.

The same process of healing the mind and spirit can be used to treat the physical maladies.  “Sickness” seems to be the logical result of the addictive behaviors that many of us have consciously and unconsciously bought into.  Whether it is sugar, salt, nicotine or stress, the manifestations have ranged from ADHD to diabetes, cancer to any number of immune disorders.

I think that having become a living host for the HIV retrovirus has been a wonderful opportunity to gain the kind of experience that can serve myself, my family, and my community!  I know that sounds radical, but if all of us who have been "chosen" to have this learning experience uses it as a blessing, we will then be living in the spirit, and that is where we need to be in order to heal the humans we are being.

So when they ask me how I have attained my freedom from the chains of addiction to all of those things that were killing my body, I always have to begin with my surrender to a higher power.  It is evident from my experience, and the experiences of millions, that healing the spirit is the most effective way to heal the body. 

I know it may seem counterintuitive to the uninitiated, but faith, by definition, is believing in things unseen.  As Daddy Rich said in the movie “Carwash” – “you gotta believe in something…why not believe in me”.  Seriously though, try finding a way to tap into the spirit within if you want to heal the body.

Yes, we will discuss actual healing solutions in this blog, like the benefits of drinking lots of water, or the need to be less acidic.  When we do share these thoughts and ideas it will be as much a reminder for me as it is possibly helpful for you.  No matter what we talk about as it pertains to healing, I have to always remember that it begins in the spiritual realm.  After all, we are truly spiritual beings having a human experience.

December 19 2011


"RISE" - The Multimedia Magazine focusing on Wellness, Awareness, and Recovery

I would love for you to look at "RISE" - The Multimedia Magazine focusing on Wellness, Awareness, and Recovery! Please subscribe, post to FaceBook, and give us your feed back at participate@RISE4war.com!!





December 12 2011


The "RISE" of Next Generation Healers

There is greater hope for this years World AIDS Day focus of "Getting to Zero" to become a reality!  I believe it to be much more feasible if we can get past the stigma and fears, and begin to look at how effective the spiritual and ethereal approach has been for those who have thrived long time with HIV.
As it stands, one of the greatest deficiencies in our "educational" system is that we don't teach enough about the human anotomy, so therefore, can not make the connection between how the body works, and how it is connected to and a part of sound and light.  Yes, we can speak about auras, crystals, and the like, in very scientific terms.  Those conversations, in concert with everything we have already achieved with chemistry and psychology, would go a long way towards creating an atmosphere for shifting our consciousness about how we heal in the physical, and give us a greater awareness of our ability to overcome the attack of the microbes like HIV.
Young Asad Khan is an example of the kind of fruit that sowing the seeds of type of training will bear!  Sure, he is obviously gifted with unique vision, but it is not so unique that it does not reside in the spirits of many.  The gift of this type of consciousness is available to most, but it is not being cultivated.
As the host and editor-in-chief of "RISE' The Multimedia Magazine, I am seeking to Resurrect Inspirational Spiritual Experiences so that we can cultivate our inate abilities to "participate in our own salvation".  Please feel free to join me here, or subscribe to "RISE" our monthly E-magazine tht will be delivered to your email or smartphone, on Facebook and Twittwer, and soon in live broadcasts on Internetfabulous.tv!

November 09 2011


November 04 2011


HIV 101 @ GA. State University

When we were navigating the myriad of emotions we felt about living with HIV back in the 1980's, I never envisioned something like what I had the great blessing to observe and enjoy recently at Georgia State University.  My friend, Dr. Larry Bryant, a professor at Georgia State University, has created an accredited course on HIV Awareness (HIV 101) that is very well thought out and it is having a wonderful effect on the 60+ students enrolled this semester.  Imagine, an actual accredited course on HIV, with a text book and everything!!   I was blessed to have the opportunity to share my experiences as a person living with AIDS for the past 25 years.  The bredth of the knowledge exhibited by the students was refreshing!  Thanks to Dr. Larry Bryant for inviting me to speak and listen.  Thanks go to him for having the vision and perserverance needed to make it haopen.  I pray that every college and university follow his lead and institute a cousre just like it.  Among these students is the person who will discover the cure for HIV.

June 15 2011


June 02 2011


reggiesmith770's soup

I Want To Thank You!:

   I am so very happy and grateful for my spiritual, mental and physical wellness.


There is a reason why we are still here on the planet.  Some of us are more aware of the tenuous nature of life as a result of the life threatening experiences we have had.  those experiences have made us more acutely aware of how important it is to be grateful, and the importance of actually living in thankful contemplation.  I choose to show my thanks by working actively to create an atmosphere that is more conducive to healing.

Music has always had a healing effect on me.  As a DJ, I always try to listen to the lyrics and mix music together to create a tapestry of a musical spiritual mosaic that can energetically lift those who are moved by my interpretation of the work of others.  Like this tune by Alicia Myers "I Want To Thank You", which has always been a favorite of mine because it is a great song that bridges spirituality and movement!  I have not been spinning for a while, but mixes are always going around in my head.  Once a DJ...

In my book, "Surrender To Heal" - 7 Ways to Rise Above The Battlefield of Life (available on this homepage) I used the titles of songs as the chapter titles so as to conjur up the energy that I thought was appropriate to help the reader to receive the information as best as possible.  Everyone has expressed that they remembered something special about their own life that rang true when they read the book, and many talked about what they were doing when the particular songs were being played. 

As the editor for RISE - THE MULTIMEDIA MAGAZINE, as well as here on this blog, I am going to use some of those same methods for communicating information and ideas.  I hoe you enjoy the information and can appreciate the atmosphere we are working to create, and use it to participate in your own survival.  Either way...I want to thank you!


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