You may not know Robert Breining, but to a growing number of people both here in the U.S. and abroad he’s a voice of comfort and strength. Each week, the Levittown, Pa., resident and co-hosts Jeromy Dunn and Project Runway contestant Jack Mackenroth open the lines to individuals like themselves who have learned that HIV/AIDS is not a death sentence. In fact, the upbeat show often leaves listeners smiling at the humanity that flows unfettered during those 60 minutes.
Give us a 15-second pitch for your show – why should listen- ers tune in?
POZ I AM Radio is all about real people living with HIV/AIDS sharing their real stories with others who live with the infection, as well as with those looking to learn more about our community. The show covers a wide range of topics, from “newly diagnosed” to “overcoming depression.” Special guests sit in as well, to share their survival stories. But most of all, POZ I AM Radio gives people living with HIV/AIDS a voice.
Tell us two things listeners would be surprised to learn about you.
No. 1: I’ve played soccer for more than 20 years – currently for a gay team – and have traveled as far as Copenhagen to play in and International Gay & Lesbian Futbol Assoc- iation (IGLFA) Tournament. No. 2: I won first team all-Catholic in the 110-meter hurdles my junior year of high school, with a time of 14.9 seconds.
Who’s your broadcasting hero?
Honestly, I don’t have one. I never would’ve imagined doing this when I was growing up. But life has a sense of humor, so here I am broad- casting twice a week. I feel it’s my mission to help others who are in the same boat.
If you could book any person on earth as a guest on your show, who would it be and why?
The late Pedro Zamora, who was a cast member on The Real World: San Francisco. He was the first openly-gay HIV+ person on TV and, as such, left a trail for people like me to follow. He’s a prime example of leadership. I’d also like to book Tom Hanks. I’d love to talk about his role in Jonathan Demme’s Philadelphia – and find out if his view of HIV/AIDS has changed since the film was released in 1993.
As we speak, what are you wearing?
I am wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Nothing fancy.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done while in the middle of hosting your show?
Not sure if this is strange, but I once dropped a lit cigarette on my lap and, well, as you can figure, I got burnt. It’s funny now – but wasn’t at the time.
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