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Reggie Smith

RISE4WAR -- Focusing on Wellness, Awareness and Recovery

Quality Over Quantity; Everything Is Temporary
December 20, 2013

When I was a child growing up on the Southside of Jamaica, Queens (SSJQ), I pretty much got along with everybody I came in contact with. It was a rough enough neighborhood, especially looking from the outside in. Being a pretty good athlete helped me to be accepted by my peers. In my heart, I was fearful of confrontation, so I'm glad to not have had to do a lot of fighting.

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When in Rome, Speak With the Romans
September 26, 2013

I had a great experience while at the United States Conference on AIDS in New Orleans. I have been participating in the conferences for the past few years of this annual gathering. This year I went with a minimum of expectations and/or questions. The focus this year was on how the HIV epidemic is disproportionately affecting the Southeast, and understanding the effects of the so called "treatment cascade" -- a study of how people access and maintain treatment for HIV. With the access to care being a major issue, and the Affordable Care Act changing the lives of many, I hoped to get a sense of how to help make sure more people get the information necessary to make this transition.

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Free Your Mind, and Your Ass Will Follow
September 25, 2013

In preparation for this year's United States Conference on AIDS, I met and spoke at length with some very special people who were hampered by fear about not being able to meet their perceived needs for treating their diagnosed HIV. America has cut funding, people have outlasted the usefulness of some medications, and stigma causes some into lies or self-imposed emotional exile. It seems that once again, the synchronicity of life has attracted a few persons and situations to me who were vessels for the information my soul longs to have answered. Ultimately, I was being confronted with the same question Neo had to answer when Morpheus presented it -- would I take the red pill or the blue pill. Being a human diagnosed with HIV myself, like so many others, I have had to decide whether to remain lost in the distraction and illusion of the Matrix, or seek to know myself beyond the construct of the system of control?

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Is It Homophobia or "Heterophobia"? Tell Them That It's Human Nature.
May 24, 2013

Biologically speaking, we all have one thing in common. No matter what your sexual predilection may be, we all have been born as a result of an egg from a woman and sperm from a man. I am not homophobic and I don't think we should judge others by their sexual preference. Our mind uses judgment as a means to separate us from each other, but we are all connected by our humanity. Stigma around HIV is partially based in heterosexuals' fear of being identified as gay. As a heterosexual black man, people of other sexual persuasions have hit on me, but no one has convinced me to try anything I didn't want to. Of course there was that time I danced with that (good looking) drag queen at the club, but that could happen to anybody, right?

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Our Secrets Keep Us Sick
April 17, 2013

Growing older does not always translate into developing emotional maturity. I know that I learned how to interact with people in a way that avoided conflict. I did not want to hurt anyone else's feelings because I knew how it felt, and I also feared retaliation and then escalation. So I learned how to tell people only what I wanted them to know, and more often than not, I told them what I thought they wanted to hear. I'm a Libra, so I thought I was just being diplomatic, but it turns out I was actually living more like a spy! As a spy, I operated under the assumption that most people don't want (or need) the truth. In fact, most people can't handle the truth!

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HIV Is Not a Gift. HIV Is an Opportunity.
February 24, 2013

In my travels, I have heard that some people, as a result of their economic situation, have actually wanted to and tried hard to contract HIV so that they would be eligible for the social services that would not ordinarily be afforded them if they were not HIV positive. In that regard they refer to HIV as "the gift."

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The Black Church, HIV and Love
October 1, 2012

The church is a great place to spread love. So why has fear and ignorance kept many, but not all churches from using their influence to speak to the hearts and minds of their parishioners about the spiritual, mental, and emotional effects of the AIDS plague?

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That's the Way of the World
September 21, 2012

So, my daughter just had twins!! What a blessing it is to be alive to see the miracles of life that are happening with my children. My oldest son just had my first grandson last year. If you had bet the odds 25 years ago when I was diagnosed with AIDS, that I would be here to see these amazing events, you would probably be to the good! It's great to see my personal lineage continuing to propagate.

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It's Time to RISE4WAR!
September 10, 2012

Having lived with AIDS for over 25 years, I have had many different experiences that I believe we all should benefit from. My wife has been with me the whole time, and she remains HIV negative. We have raised four children and now have four grandchildren, with twins on the way! We educate about the HIV science and the emotional part of this disease, which often goes overlooked.

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Twelve Steps to Positive Attitudes
September 3, 2012

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 be right for you.

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RISE4WAR -- Focusing on Wellness, Awareness and Recovery

Reggie and Dionne Smith

Reggie and Dionne Smith

My name is Reggie Smith. My wife Dionne and I have lived with AIDS since 1984. I am HIV+, she is not. We have experienced the suffering of families affected by HIV. With the love and support of many, we have focused on sharing holistic healing solutions for the infected and affected in an effort to diminish the stigma and increase awareness about the unmet needs of U.S. families and surrounding HIV. You are most welcome to share with me here and at my website, ReggieSmith770.

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