Episode 72: Joan Shenton’s ‘Positive Hell’ and Heavenly Web Site
November 10th, 2013

Journalist Joan Shenton interviewed a cluster of healthy “HIV positives” in Spain for her upcoming documentary, Positive Hell (with producer/director Andi Reiss). She talks with David and Beth about this project and about her nonprofit organization’s recently relaunched Web site — an extremely valuable resource, we think you’ll agree.

Joan is the head of Meditel Productions and a British news producer, director and presenter. A childhood in Chile made her fluent in Spanish as well as English. After graduating from Oxford in 1964, she put her bilingual skills to work as a reporter for the BBC Latin American Service. Joan later reported for and co-hosted several TV and radio programs in England.

Meditel has, since its founding in 1981, specialized in health and medical issues, producing more than 150 programs for network TV, including the award-winning “AZT: Cause for Concern” and “AIDS — The Unseen Voices.” Joan’s book, Positively False: Exposing the Myths Around HIV and AIDS, came out in 1998. More recently, she completed the documentary, Positively False: Birth of a Heresy, also with Andi Reiss.

Positive Hell, still in production, tells the stories of Spanish HIV positives, mostly former intravenous drug users, who are still around 27 years after diagnosis. Having escaped the hellish “AIDS Zone” of toxic medications, they have survived and thrived with the help of fellow HIV positive Dr. Manuel Garrido Sotelo of Superando el Sida.

The Immunity Resource Foundation is placing on its redesigned Web site its impressive historical archive of videos and documents on the AIDS debate. Joan mined that collection of videos going back 25 years for her 2011 documentary, Positively False: Birth of a HeresyListeners already familiar with the indispensable VirusMyth archive will notice some overlap. Scientists, journalists, students, investors and others might find the Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society‘s site useful, and they can further contact “How Positive Are You” host/ARAS President David Crowe for assistance there and access to an even larger database of approximately 5,000 full-text scientific articles and other documents. The IRF is considering charging a fee for accessing certain resources on its new site — so get on over there while they’re still free — or you may choose to support the organization’s work anyway.

We also mention the Living Without AIDS Drugs online community and the historical/political films “No” and “The Singing Revolution.” Rethinking AIDS posted Dr. Garrido’s warning against taking anti-retroviral AIDS drugs for pneumonia in April 2012.

“How Positive Are You” last talked with Joan in Episode 33, in February 2011.  Questions to Joan can be sent to irf@immunity.org.uk.

UPDATE, January 2016: Joan’s films are now available on YouTube!  Immunity Resource Foundation Web site editor Mohammed Aziz writes as of January 14 that Joan Shenton and Andi Reiss’ Meditel film production company granted YouTube channel Question Everything permission to upload both Positively False and Positive Hell (English/Spanish version and French-subtitled version), which it has done. We see a lot of other AIDS-dissident documentaries on the channel, including the acclaimed House of Numbers and Anne Sono‘s I Won’t Go Quietly, so head on over there.

The 16th Anniversary edition of Joan’s book, Positively False: Exposing the Myths Around HIV and AIDS, has received at least one very favorable review on Amazon. Congratulations, Joan! (We note that “KindleUnlimited” customers get the Kindle edition free. Free.)

See Dr. Garrido’s “Superando el SIDA” Facebook page — en Español! — HERE.

“Episode 72: Joan Shenton’s ‘Positive Hell’ and Heavenly Web Site” comments…
  1. How Positive Are You? Podcast Interview with Joan Shenton - Immunity Resource Foundation says:

    […] Episode 72: Joan Shenton’s ‘Positive Hell’ and Heavenly Web Site – Go to Podcast […]

    November 14, 2013 | 5:58 am
  2. XTRA: Joan Shenton, Dr. Christian Fiala and Mitchell Rabin Discuss ‘Positive Hell’ on ‘The Progressive Film Hour’ at How Positive Are You says:

    […] previously interviewed Joan about her film and her helpful Web site in Episode 72. She was also a guest on co-host David Crowe’s “The Infectious Myth” show on the Progressive […]

    January 24, 2015 | 4:45 pm
  3. Episode 79: Filmmaker Anne Sono of ‘I Will Not Go Quietly’ Makes Noise for Families Terrorized by ‘the Test’ at How Positive Are You says:

    […] Won’t Go Quietly (short version in English here; British filmmaker Joan Shenton‘s review here)  features, in addition to Seebald’s story, the stories of […]

    January 24, 2016 | 7:42 pm
  4. Episode 96: Dr. Manuel Garrido Recalls His Own Escape from the ‘Positive Hell’ of Living with ‘HIV’ at How Positive Are You says:

    […] interviewed Joan about her film and her Immunity Resource Foundation’s helpful Web site in Episode 72. She has also made guest appearances on David’s “The Infectious Myth” and Mitchell Rabin’s […]

    January 24, 2016 | 7:58 pm
  5. Episode 108: Waking Up to the Truth, with New AIDS Rethinker George Borrelli at How Positive Are You says:

    […] Myths Around HIV and Aids – 16th Anniversary Edition. (We interview Shenton in Episodes 33 and 72. Her organization’s very useful Web site is […]

    March 21, 2016 | 12:52 pm
  6. NEWS UPDATE: London Film Fest Drops AIDS Doc ‘Positive Hell,’ as ‘Vaxxed’ Backlash Hits Houston, L.A. Screenings Sell Out, NYC Gets Second Week at How Positive Are You says:

    […] to veteran journalist, author and filmmaker Joan Shenton. (We reported on the film in Episodes 72 and 96, and posted a link to a discussion on “The Progressive Film Hour.“) The festival […]

    April 10, 2016 | 5:56 am
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