This Podcast is a Collaboration From:

Positive Voices

About the Podcast

Welcome to the Positive Voices Podcast: Season 2

Hosts Tei Pearson and Malachi Stewart are bringing knowledge and empowerment to the DC-Maryland area! Listen as they speak to special guests and amplify the voices of our HIV community members, giving them space to share their life experiences, discuss resources like LinkU, and encourage people living with HIV to engage in care and treatment. Let’s raise our voices and create better outcomes for people with HIV!

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Episode List

Watch the Official Trailer of Positive Voices .


The Tea with Tei: Catching Up With Our Hosts

December 18, 2023   26:34
Positive Voices is back, baby! We’re kicking off season 2 by introducing our new cohost, Tei Pearson-Hall, while also getting into it with our returning host, Malachi Stewart. We’re getting to know each other a little deeper, touching on convos about intersectionality in the fight to end HIV, the fluidity of identity and sexuality, the journey to owning your HIV-positive status, and so much more.
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“I Don’t Care What You Have, You’re My Family:” Discussions on Disclosure

December 18, 2023  37:23
You might want to get tissues for this one. Don’t worry, though, it’s for happy tears. We're speaking with our first guests of the season, Derrick “Strawberry” Cox and his mother Trina, and getting into detail about disclosing your HIV-positive status to your loved ones. Self-love, the power of a supportive family, and everything in between are on the table as our hosts and guests discuss how to disclose and move forward with the ones you love.
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Nothing is Impossible: The Truth About Being Pregnant While HIV-Positive

December 26, 2023  46:38
We said what we said: Nothing is impossible! This week our guests Martha Cameron and Robin Thomas talk about their experiences with pregnancy while HIV-positive. Two different stories with one common truth: You can have a healthy life and a healthy baby with a positive status. Listen to learn how and why, and stick around for deeper discussions on the impact of stigma and how research is making it easier for pregnant people to advocate for themselves every day.
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A Black, Cis, Hetero Man with HIV? More Likely Than You Think.

January 2, 2024   46:37
In this episode, Malachi and Tei found a unicorn: Larry Bryant, a straight Black man *willing to talk about his HIV diagnosis and experience.* Truly, a unicorn. But that’s not the only magic in this episode. We got our second tissue box out for some happy cries when continuing the convo about the power of supportive and loving families. But! We’re also snapping along when the convo got real about how toxic masculinity informs HIV stigma. It’s a must-listen, sit down and settle in!
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“I’m A Survivor, Not a Pity Party:” Real Talk On Mental Health and HIV

January 8, 2024   46:02
“Folks, we’ll be real, this is a heavy one. But not a hopeless one. This week, we’ve got Phillip Sain and Dominique Anthony on the couch to talk about their experiences with the intersectionality of mental health and HIV. We’re getting into their stories about HIV diagnosis, mental health, substance use, and their actions and consequences. But, spoiler alert, we also get into their healing, aspirations and happy endings.
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Dating in the DMV Part 2

January 16, 2024   59:54
You thought we had the tea before? We have a whole ‘nother pot brewing just for you. We’re getting DEEP into one of the universal truths of DMV life: Dating is harder than getting a TS clearance. This week, we’re chatting to friends of the podcast, Ashley Donald and Sean Simmons, and even getting some intel from the streets of DC. Get ready to clap along and commiserate as we get into the DMV’s *ahem* unique challenges and what we can do to find our boo.
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Sharing Spaces: Unpacking the Trans Experience

January 22, 2024   48:26
“We want our own lane; we’re not here to replace anybody.” And that’s that on that! This week, Tei and Malachi are speaking with Daijah Walters and Dr. Selena Dagnino about the trans community, trans health, and their experiences as trans women. If you take anything away from this episode, remember that trans women know what’s best for them, and they deserve seats at the table to share that knowledge and experience with the world.
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Facts and Folklore In Trans Health

January 29, 2024   24:25
Dr. Selena Dagnino is back to use her experience to answer all of our questions regarding trans health. Weather fact or folklore, the truth is out there, which is why it’s critical to listen to trans experiences AND trusted medical specialists. We’re excited to share part two of our transgender-focused episodes! This program contains language and subject matter that some audiences may find triggering or sensitive. Our purpose is to encourage engagement in care and treatment; however, please consider your well-being before continuing.
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How The White House is Ending the HIV Epidemic

February 5, 2024   47:34
Have you ever wanted to know how not just the DMV but the entire nation is fighting to end the HIV epidemic? Have you thought about what it takes to make a policy that can impact people's lives nationwide? Are you always talking about the importance of lived experience, especially when talking about politics? Then this is the episode for you. This week, Malachi and Tei are interviewing Harold Phillips, former Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. They get into the who, what, when, where, why, and how of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the US.  This program contains language and subject matter that some audiences may find triggering or sensitive. We aim to encourage engagement in care and treatment; please consider your well-being before continuing.
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Precious Survival: True Stories of Sex Work

February 12, 2024   1:07:59
This week, Tei and Malachi are talking to our guests, Marlene and Jasmine, about the realities of sex work. From sex work as a business to working for survival, our guests are sharing their stories without holding back. No filter, no sugarcoating, no-nonsense.
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The Uphill Battle of Incarceration and Returning Citizens

February 19, 2024   58:42
We’re pulling up seats at the table for three members of our community to share their realities of incarceration, being a returning citizen, and how HIV adds a whole ‘nother level to their stories. Diane and Rasta share their stories of incarceration with a positive status, while Ashley takes on resources for returning citizens with years of social work experience behind her. This is an important conversation we need to be having more, and the intersectionality of it all makes it all the more dire.
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Tackling HIV in the DMV and Abroad (Our First Spanish Episode!)

February 26, 2024   44:43
We are so excited to present our first-ever Spanish-language episode of Positive Voices! This week, Juan Carlos, Alexa, and Kevin join us as they talk about sexual health and HIV. They talk about the differences between medical care in the US vs abroad, the TransLatina and HIV experience, and how medication accessibility really is a game-changer and life-changer.

¡Estamos muy emocionados por presentar nuestro primer episodio en español de Positive Voices! Esta semana nos acompañan Juan Carlos, Alexa y Kevin, quienes hablan sobre todo lo relacionado con la salud sexual y el VIH. Nos hablan sobre las diferencias entre la atención médica en Estados Unidos y en el extranjero; así como la experiencia de una Trans Latina con el VIH, y sobre cómo la accesibilidad a los medicamentos cambia las reglas del juego y la vida.
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(Myth) Bustin’ Makes Me Feel Good!

March 4, 2024   42:41
*Cue the Ghostbusters theme, but make it sexual health*

This week, Tei and Malachi are talking to sexual health expert Bryce Furness about the myths that abound in sexual health conversations. There’s a lot that’s just accepted culturally, but we gotta stop and unpack. That’s how we get the stigma out and the compassion in. Tune in for fast facts about DMV healthcare and to hear what DC residents really think about some popular HIV myths.
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Live, from Montgomery County, It’s Positive Voices!

March 11, 2024   36:49
Tei and Malachi From The Past are finally here on our first-ever live show filmed on World AIDS Day 2023! In this live environment, they’re joined by four guests: Melkam Woldamanuel and Karen Blanton, who share their experiences as HIV-positive Black women, then Shania Thomas and Kathryn Kelly, who talk about how they address HIV as healthcare providers. The life joy and knowledge in this episode have to be heard to be believed. Relive the magic with us!
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“This Shouldn’t Happen Now:” On Privilege and Advocacy in the HIV Space

March 18, 2024   39:23
In this week’s episode of Positive Voices, Tei and Malachi chat with Murray Penner, a DC-based advocate with a deep personal interest in ensuring that people with HIV have access to the care and support needed. Throughout this episode, Murray discusses his own HIV diagnosis and why he advocates so passionately for U=U. Come for the great chemistry, and stay for a deep conversation on how privilege and perception can play a significant role in who gets help in healthcare spaces.
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Status, Behavior, and Stigma: Talking about HIV in the Black MSM Community

March 25, 2024   55:37
Black men who have sex with men are the demographic with the highest risk of contracting HIV, so you know we’re going to talk about it. In this episode, we’re joined by Mark and Zaine, who get into all the juicy details of past relationships, the do’s and don’ts of disclosure, and the state of the Black MSM community in the DMV and abroad. The bottom line? “The positive person is not the problem; the behavior is the problem.”
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Ryan Jamaal Swain and Activism in Hollywood

April 1, 2024   44:44
For our season finale, Tei and Malachi sit down with actor, singer, dancer, and activist Ryan Jamaal Swain. You might recognize Ryan from his work on the FX series "Pose” as Damon, but in this exclusive interview, Ryan talks about his journey as well as Damon’s. Listen in as Ryan talks about how doing the work reinforces what it means to live your life, the power of representation in media, and finding the beauty in life.
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Meet the Hosts

Tei Pearson-Hall

Meet Tei Pearson-Hall (she/her), the entrepreneur behind TPX LLC and the uproarious #TeamNosey movement that’s on a mission to make the world a happier, healthier place — one laugh at a time. She is not only a force to be reckoned with but also a seasoned “humor conversationalist.” As an exuberant, disabled Army veteran, Tei’s wit is as sharp as her service record. While sharing her lived experiences, from trauma to triumph, Tei empowers and encourages others to start their own healing journeys. Beyond her achievements, Tei is also a loving mother and life partner. Get ready to laugh, live, and heal with Tei, an unstoppable comedic force and advocate for “unapologetically living life!”

Malachi Stewart

Malachi Stewart (he/him/his) wears many hats for DC Health as a public health analyst and program coordinator. The Philadelphia native has worked in public and community health in the DMV for more than a decade. His passion for advocacy is fueled by his personal experience of living with HIV for the past 15 years. When he's not working, you can find him walking his dog near the waterfront at Wharf or kickboxing in Navy Yard.

Funded by Health Resources and Services Administration Cooperative Agreement (HRSA-20-078)

LinkU Health and Resources

LinkU is a free and easy-to-use resource to help you find local services, including help with HIVprevention and care. It is DC, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County’s goal to makesure everyone who lives, works, and plays in the DMV area can access the services they need.

Getting Back Into Care

HIV Treatment Information

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