The year is 1987, and the world stands in fear of an alleged new virus, “HIV,” with only one treatment in development, a highly toxic drug called AZT. A medical doctor in Spain gets his own test results — “positive” — and descends into alcoholism and despair. Twenty-seven years later, as featured in the new documentary film Positive Hell, he is healthy and proof that there is indeed life after HIV.
In this first experiment in producing a fully scripted, translated interview with a foreign-language-speaking guest, “How Positive Are You” co-host Elizabeth Ely interviews Dr. Garrido. Journalist/filmmaker Joan Shenton stands by, and HPAY co-host David Crowe provides recorded English translations of Dr. Garrido’s Spanish responses. (Stay tuned for a version of this Podcast en Español.)
Dr. Manuel “Manolo” Garrido Sotelo is a medical doctor and founder of “Superando el SIDA” (Overcoming AIDS) in northern Spain. He and four patients are the subjects of Joan Shenton’s latest documentary, this time exploring the stories of these so-called “long-time non-progressors.” Says Dr. Garrido: “What I can say is that in most cases, the people who live longest and in the best state of health are those of us who do not take the medication.” Further, the film reveals that his sexual partner of 20 years has never tested positive.
We previously 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 “Progressive Film Hour,” both on the Progressive Radio Network.
UPDATE, February 17, 2015–Online magazine Vice carried this Q&A with Joan.
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 the new “Superando el SIDA” Facebook page — en Español! — HERE.