Los Angeles, June 2002, POZ coverboy, 02.00

I have been BUSY, acting and auditioning. A couple of years ago I got the role of Bobby—an HIV positive law student turned porn model—in Circuit, a movie about the gay circuit-party scene. Then I did a pilot for cable called Sex, Politics and Cocktails, and a play called Christopher’s Yard here in LA. I have a song, “Assume the Position,” on the Circuit soundtrack, so I’ve been touring—Detroit on New Year’s Eve and Israel at the beginning of January. Acting was always something I wanted to do, and when I got sober five years ago, I finally started studying really intensely.

My health is great now. When I first found out I was positive, I was very sick. But I’ve built up my strength over the past few years, using lots of recovery time, therapy and help from others—and God. It just takes as long as it takes. There’s always a balancing act with this virus—spiritually, mentally and physically (like med side effects: I’ve had problems with fatigue, so I use testosterone gel). The last time I checked, I had the most T cells I’ve had in 10 years, and I feel very grateful.

I liked the character I played in Circuit because he was vulnerable. He thought he was dying of HIV, so he was pushed towards a fantasy life. The fun part was the porn-model scene—I never got to be a porn model, but as an actor, I could really perform in a g-string and work on the whole mentality. I did my homework for the role, and so I know that some porn actors think being in films will make them famous. I guess everybody wants to be a star.

I’ve been sober for more than five years. Now I go sober to big circuit-party events, like the last White Party. I have definitely felt spiritual on the dance floor—the music, the masses, the energy...WOW! You do not need drugs to have a great time out there.

It was rumored that I was gay when my single was in the Top 10, and it was a problem for the record company, because they couldn’t figure out how to market me. But I have always felt good about being out about who I am. HIV has taught me that you’d better do what you want to do, and you’d better be true to yourself—today!

Sobriety has a lot to do with honesty. So I’m more honest now than I’ve ever been in my life—about disclosure, for example. But I find that not everyone out there shares this practice. All I can say is, rigorous honesty keeps me sane, and being out about HIV has made me happier. I just hope I can make some people think about disclosing, or not be as scared as I used to be. That’s somewhat of a challenge.

I met this guy. We’ve been going out for about five months and it’s just great. I’m in love! He’s an engineer and a DJ, so we spend a lot of time playing with remix ideas at home and in the studio. I can just fly vocals into his computer, doing them a few different ways today, to give us a new idea to work on tomorrow. He’s positive, too. It’s new for me—and I’m having a ball!

Visit www.paullekakis.com for more information on Paul Lekakis’ career, and www.tlavideo.com to buy Circuit.