Today is Launch Day & Bonus #HIVLoveWins Tweet Chat Tomorrow

Today's the day, friends! After two years of work in earnest and five years of work total, Positively Negative is live on Amazon. Already, it's racking up some great reviews:

I am an unapologetic sucker for a (good) love story and a (believable) happy ending. Despite the hopeful title of this article, I admit that I wasn’t expecting either. This is HIV, after all, but Boerner deftly distills (in clear, comprehensible language despite all the scientific terms) both the controversial issues of unprotected sex and HIV and the science that makes it possible for these couples to safely conceive. This work documenting the medical advancement and courageous trail-blazers is a thrilling page-turner, but the white-hot center of this meticulously researched work is the compelling story of the families and their unfolding struggles for a child of their own. That such a thing is safely possible boggles the mind and lifts the spirit.

Heather Boerner’s razor sharp reporting with her open eyes and heart offers fantastic documentation of the tremendous transition during the last decade of HIV research. Perhaps more importantly she contributes to a new lexicon of possibility. I have spoken with hundreds of couples like the Morgans and Hartmanns who feel isolated as they search for answers. This book is an answer and offers solid science describing the possibility of an HIV-free generation - it is full of hope and possibility.Thank you for sharing your gift of words, your beautiful mind and your dedication to publishing this in long form. So many people will feel seen and know that they are not alone

... [I]f you are interested in issues of reproductive science and fertility, public health policy, women’s sexual health (including the way science sometimes ignores women’s sexual health), and the future of HIV treatment. I was especially intrigued by her analysis of how the history of the stigma and fear surrounding AIDS has in some ways prevented progress and changes in policy, even in the face of scientific-medical advances. Ultimately an uplifting story and timely in a way no one could have have expected, given the news today about the tragic loss of so many researchers who have been working toward cures and treatment for HIV/AIDS.

I am so delighted that the message is getting out there, especially in light of the devastating news that up to 100 HIV researchers may have been killed in the Malaysia Airlines flight disaster over Russia yesterday. We have not seen the last of this, and the ripples will go on for years. As I told a reporter I spoke to today, who know what those researchers could have achieved? Might one of them been the one (or team) to cure HIV? The thought makes me shaky. 

#MH17.gpg

As Shannon Weber from BAPAC (and the doyenne of LoveYou2.org) notes in the above image (taken from Melbourne, where she is attending the International AIDS Conference), we will carry on. 

For me and for HIV-affected couples, that means that we'll be getting together on Twitter at 4:30 pm Eastern tomorrow for another #HIVLoveWins twitter chat and virtual book launch. I'm delighted to bring my book launch to Twitter. Poppy, one of the women I followed in the book, will be on hand to talk about her experience. If you're interested, log on to Twitter at 4:30 p.m. Eastern and search for #HIVLoveWins. Please join us. Ask questions, talk to Poppy and let's start the healing from this terrible tragedy.

Let's Launch!

It's getting to be that time: Only weeks until we launch Positively Negative out into the world. Do you want to be a part of it? Join the Positively Negative Launch Team! All you have to do is fill out this application to get started. On the team, you'll get direct access to me, a behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to self-publish a longform ebook, a FREE copy of the book in exchange for an HONEST review on Amazon, Goodreads, you name it, membership in the Positively Negative/BAPAC AIDS Walk San Francisco team, and a few other perks to be named later. 

This is a minor commitment--answer a few questions on Facebook, read and review the book on whatever social networking sites you use, etc. Like I said on Twitter last week, it's my belief that #HIVLoveWins when we share our stories and break the stigma. That's why I wrote Positively Negative. The next step is to put it in the hands of people who need it the most. To do that, the book needs to have a broad reach. Will you help?

Here's how it works:

As a member of the Positively Negative Launch Team, you'll get:

▪ A free advance copy of Positively Negative 

▪ Access to a private group where I'll share a behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to write and launch a book

▪ The opportunity to give feedback on certain aspects of the book during the production process

▪ A special "thank you" with a link to your blog (if you like) on the Positively Negative blog and on the book's Facebook page.

▪ Other special rewards, to be announced later.

 

In return, I'll ask for:

▪ An honest review on Amazon, Goodreads or other retailer sites.

▪ Any promotional ideas you might have to help get Positively Negative in front of as many readers as possible.

▪ If feasible, your participation in the San Francisco AIDS Walk as part of the Positively Negative walking team.

▪ Your help spreading the word about the book before and during the launch.

 

Not sure if the Launch Team is a good fit for you? Here are some questions you might have - and my answers:

"Do I have to be a blogger or have a large social following to join the launch team?" No! There are a lot of valuable ways to help get the word out. Maybe you'll email the members of your mom's group or social circle to let them know about the book, tell your family and friends on Facebook, or even put together a small group of moms to create a Positively Negative book club. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to help an idea spread.

"I'm not a marketing mastermind. Is my input valuable?" Absolutely! If you're a mom and a reader, you are exactly the person whose opinions I need to help me make Positively Negative the best resource it can be.

"I'm not on Facebook. Can I still join the Launch Team?" To keep everything streamlined we really need to run the Launch Team via a private Facebook group. It's where the majority of people already hang out, so it keeps everything easiest for the most members. But even if you don't join the actual launch team, there will be other opportunities to help spread the word about Positively Negative, so keep an eye out for updates!

"What is the time commitment to join the Launch Team?" A lot of this depends on how long it takes you to read and write :) It won't be super time-consuming, but I will expect members to put some time into reading the book, answering a few of my questions in the private group, and writing a fair review. The book will launch in late May/early June, so the most intense period of promotion will be the last half of May through July, culminating in the San Francisco AIDS Walk Positively Negative walk team. But I know you have other priorities and certainly don't expect for you to spend all your free time on Positively Negative! Give what you feel you can.

Have a question that's not answered above? Feel free to comment below and ask away. I'm here to answer and as always, I so appreciate your help and support.

#HIVLoveWins Won Twitter

Well, not really. But it was a smashing success! More than 20 participants, including a doctor in South Africa, advocates in Atlanta and allies elsewhere--along with two couples who are affected by HIV AND, as the hashtag goes, #courageouslyinlove.

Here's the Storify of the chat. I apologize for any tweets that got dropped or any continuity errors. This was my best attempt to organize a lot of tweets that came in rapid succession.