December #66 : Life Is Sweet - by Tony Peregrin

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Table of Contents

The Viral Lowdown: Can You Believe What She Says?

The Viral Lowdown: Say What

The Viral Lowdown: Word Is Out For New HIVers

The Viral Lowdown: Dishing Out the Denial

The Viral Lowdown: Pharma Flubs Phase IV

The Viral Lowdown: Lack of Leadership Leaves Latinos In Lethal Lurch

The Viral Lowdown: Mystery: Partially Positive

The Viral Lowdown: Prison Death Prompts Probe

The Viral Lowdown: African AIDS Under a TAC

The Viral Lowdown: All Dolled Up: Rx Abuse High Among Gay HIVers


The Viral Lowdown: If Not Now, When? If Not Us, Who?

The Viral Lowdown: News Flash: The Sky Isn't Falling!

The Viral Lowdown: HIVers in Hock to Homophobia

Tales of the (Safer Sex) City

Clean, Sober...and Medicated?

The Secret Plot to Destroy African Americans


The Art Of Living

Summit, Some More

Channel Surfing

Shout Out

Lights! Camera! Handcuffs?

Quick Picks

Life Is Sweet

Packing Meat, Just Barely

A Cell of One’s Own


Doing AIDS Justice

Petal Pusher

Carry On, MP

Milk Got You?

Comfort Zone

Big Science Kicker

Herb Of The Month

Protease Progeny

It Takes Guts

Between A Recovery And A Hard Place

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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December 2000

Life Is Sweet

by Tony Peregrin

Living with HIV is hard, but you can still live a sweet existence,” says Joseph C. Wilson, HIVer and creator of Hard Candy, a San Francisco–based “urban musical” that he’s hyping as the Rent of the new millennium.

Now in its sophomore year, Hard Candy follows the journey of Lucas, who—in a headline-inspired fantasy—has a baboon-bone-marrow transplant that, miraculously, cures AIDS. Now that the magic bullet is coursing through his veins, the play’s drug companies will stop at nothing to exploit him.

“I crafted this musical to invent a new way to send the same message we’ve been sending for two decades: HIV causes AIDS, and people must have safe sex,” says the 39-year-old HIV positive Wilson, who drew on many of his own experiences—including having once been homeless—in writing the musical. “Despite all the walks, rides and ribbons, HIV continues to spread.”

Even before the curtain rises December 1, Wilson says the 90-minute Hard Candy has met his goals. “When I was casting the show, I could tell in the interviews that many of the performers didn’t know much about HIV,” he says. “Nine out of 10 didn’t know that people are often thrust into poverty when they get HIV. A lot of them weren’t hip to the transformation the body goes through, like the ‘hump-man syndrome,’ and had no idea the show hinged on my life. It really showed them that people with AIDS are everywhere.”

While there are no immediate touring plans, Wilson is lobbying for New York’s Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS to move the show east. Meanwhile, the show will go on for three nights at San Francisco’s Glide Memorial Methodist Church. (Call 415. 674.6133 for info.)

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