When was the last time you talked about HIV?
Do you recall when you and your friend had a conversation about AIDS?
The last time I chatted about HIV was actually just today with a good friend. We never mentioned the words HIV or AIDS but talked about his testosterone shots and how that was altering his body, mainly his skin, and how it was working for the positive where his HIV medication was working in the negative when it came to dermal health. Then again, was that chat really about HIV or just his shiny skin and his testosterone levels?
I've read the HIV/AIDS articles on our site as well as the PrEP posts, but that's not talking about it with other people. Before the shiny skin chat, I think the last time I was involved in a true discussion about HIV was if I should go to the AIDS walk. People that wanted me to go were enticing me with the list of musical performers that would be present. Damn! That wasn't really about HIV either!
When comedian Michael Henry's newest video popped up on my YouTube feed and it was titled "This Video Is About HIV," my first thought was oh crap, followed by – how in the hell is he going to do something humorous about this – was he going to try a serious video – has the boy lost his mind? The answers were very well, yes, and yes. He has lost his mind, it is a serious video, and humorous, too.
Let's see what you think.
Sending Michael a quick message on Facebook, I exclaimed that his video was really good and I loved how it didn't go anywhere, but went everywhere.
Michael said that was his plan. He wanted the video to be informative and funny, but didn't know how to.
I was impressed that Michael did what we are not doing enough, talking with our friends about things that may make us uncomfortable, things that affect our lives, but we are too shy to enquire about help and more knowledge.
Michael said that everyone was uncomfortable when he told them he was making this video (probably the same reaction and thoughts I mentioned above).
There are so many ifs, ands, and buts about HIV that we don't talk about, like:
- people think it's scary if you have HIV
- people think it isn't commonly contracted anymore possibly because of PrEP
- who gets "it"
- who is on PrEP
- who can afford PrEP
- what does insurance cover may it be PrEP or HIV medication
- what can LGBT centers do to help
Did Michael's video provide any answers? Not really, but it got us thinking and hopefully talking. I don't think he was looking to educate us like www.hiv.gov can, but he just wanted us to not be afraid to start the conversation.
So … when was the last time you really talked about HIV?
Here are some closing words from Michael that he shared on YouTube.
Thank you for watching this video!!!! I hope it was informative yet had humor too. I really did want to make a video about having a conversation about HIV/AIDS with your friends to encourage others to have a conversation with their friends about hiv. You can learn a lot from your friends' experiences and they can direct you to great places online or local LGBTQ centers that can be super helpful. Also, here are some important links to further educate yourself and/or donate. – youtube
Michael Henry/ michaelhenry915
Eric Leonardos/ ericjleo
Jamison Scala/ mrjpscala
Varut Chee/ varootisonfire
Roz Drezfalez/ rozdrezfalez
Nathan Ramos/ nay3ray
Chad Westbrook/ chadwestbrook
Andre Seward/ andreseward
Maxwell Esposito/ maxwellespsito
Paul McGovern Jr/ pmcg34
Seth Daniel/ sefferman