We’ve carefully selected these videos because they’re actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their viewers with personal stories and high-quality information. Nominate your favorite video by emailing us at [email protected]!
Currently, over a million people are living with HIV in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states there were 39,513 new cases of HIV diagnosed in 2015 alone.
It’s time to shatter the idea that this viral infection is a death sentence and understand that, with proper treatment, most people with HIV can live a full and happy life.
Whether you’re newly diagnosed, have had HIV or AIDS for many years, or are looking for more information, there’s support out there. We’ve rounded up the most hopeful, educational, and heartwarming videos that illustrate that you can live well with HIV and AIDS.
My HIV/AIDS Story
In this inspiring video, Jennifer Vaughan shares how she contracted HIV through a sexual partner she had a relationship with. She talks about the symptoms at the onset of the illness, and the challenges of obtaining an accurate diagnosis. Vaughan created this short film so that others who are trying to navigate this disease can hear firsthand a person’s account of HIV and AIDS and know they’re not alone. With an encouraging team of doctors and the right medication, she says she leads a normal life, is “super healthy,” and her HIV is well-controlled.
What Is It Like Living with HIV/AIDS?: Fill in the Blank
Brought to you by Logo and made in honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, this video asks members of the LGBTQ community to “fill in the blank” about what it’s like to tell their loved ones they’re HIV-positive. Then, their loved ones are asked to discuss what their level of understanding of HIV was before learning their partner, friend, or family member had contracted the virus. This video doesn’t only help break taboos, it also educates about HIV prevention and mentions the use of PrEP — a pre-exposure prophylactic medication — to prevent HIV. According to the CDC, PrEP taken consistently has been shown to reduce the risk for people with a high risk of getting HIV by up to 92 percent, although it’s less effective if taken inconsistently.
Personal Stories from People Living with HIV
If you think HIV and AIDS only affects a particular type of person, this video by My HIV Treatment Hang-Up, demonstrates how the virus impacts people from all walks of life. The film highlights the stories of six individuals — Stephanie, Dekota, Guy, Masonia, Devin, and Yuri — and proves you can thrive in life and relationships despite an HIV or AIDS diagnosis.
Living with HIV - Southern Remedy
This episode of Southern Remedy by Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) addresses HIV and AIDS, and the deep religious roots in Mississippi. According to the show, African American males constitute many newly diagnosed cases in the state. This video features the lives of five African American males and one female, and it chronicles the ups and downs of getting a diagnosis, finding strength and support in numbers, and living a flourishing life with HIV and AIDS.
The Silent HIV Crisis Sweeping the American South: TONIC Specials
In this video by TONIC, a health channel by Vice, reporters venture to Jackson, Mississippi to examine the circumstances that have led to an AIDS crisis in the young, gay black male population. While the United States as a whole has experienced a decline in the incidences of HIV, Jackson is a Southern town where cases are skyrocketing. Jackson ranked fourth among major metropolitan areas, according to the CDC. When HIV and AIDS can be managed, why are so many men falling victim to the disease? TONIC seeks to answer this question by delving into issues like systemic racism, lack of access to healthcare, and the social stigma surrounding the illness. The video also highlights remarkable individuals in the community who are striving to destigmatize the virus and make resources more available to those living with HIV and AIDS.
How I Found Out I Was HIV Positive - Ken Like Barbie
In this video, Ken Williams appears as a guest on KirstyTV to tell his story about contracting HIV and share the emotions he experienced when he received a diagnosis. Williams also discusses the challenges of speaking with future sexual partners, and he emphasizes how remaining confident about his HIV status has made others feel comfortable to talk about it, as well. By sharing his story, Williams reveals he no longer feels “burdened” by his secrets, and he’s found a powerful sense of community in the process.
HIV Positive Symptoms and Signs: How to Know You Are HIV Positive!
Follow along with Dr. Malik as he discusses the timeline of HIV symptoms. In this video, Dr. Malik suggests there aren’t any immediate signs after the initial transmission has occurred, and early testing will likely be negative. But after a few weeks, you may experience general, flu-like symptoms — which may be overlooked or mimic the symptoms of other illnesses. At the two- to three-month mark, your HIV test may be positive — yet, you’ll remain virtually asymptomatic. It’s important to know that during this time, you’ll be able to transmit the infection to other people. Meanwhile, the virus begins to silently chip away at your immune system and make you sick. If you’re sexually active, Dr. Malik recommends having routine HIV tests every six months to stay healthy and remain vigilant about the virus.
The Day I Found Out I Was HIV Positive - True Gay Stories
ImFromDriftwood presents this compelling video featuring Chris Richey, a 24-year-old from a small town in Texas, as he recounts his personal story of receiving an HIV-positive diagnosis. Richey addresses some of the stigma he experienced regarding the disease and how he learned to accept his diagnosis. In an uplifting end to the film, Richey feels he’s finally found a path to healing from the disease.
HIV Signs and Symptoms
In this short clip, Dr. Justin Sim, for Dr. Tan & Partners in Singapore, presents the signs and symptoms of HIV. He notes that the symptoms differ from person to person and vary according to the stage of the disease. Sim walks viewers through the progression of the virus, including the warning signs that the disease has advanced to AIDS.
Generation HIV: The Young Britons Born HIV Positive
Produced by The Guardian, this video features footage of young people in Britain who were born with HIV — who have lived with the virus all their lives. These individuals were born in the 90’s, when the capabilities to prevent transmission of the virus from mother to child weren’t in existence. For many of these people, it’s not the disease itself that’s the most difficult aspect of living with HIV and AIDS, but rather the stigma attached to it. As such, the subjects of the film have chosen to conceal their identities as they candidly talk about the trials they face in forming relationships, combating a three decade-old stereotype that AIDS leads to death, and the unwavering hope that future generations won’t have to endure the emotional and physical strain that they’ve experienced.
Marlon Riggs' Legacy and This Political Moment - LIVE Edition
In this video, AIDS United presents its first piece in a series of Google Hangouts addressing the realities of living with HIV and AIDS among gay and bisexual men of color. The video was released on February 3, 2015 in honor of the birthday of the late, black gay filmmaker, Marlon Riggs. The panelists — which include Yolo Akili, Kenyon Farrow, Charles Stephens, and Aquarius Gilmer — discuss the impact of Marlon Riggs, leadership in AIDS organizations, and how to better serve the community of gay and bisexual men of color.
The MIC Trap: A Panel Discussion Hosted by AHF
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation brings together a panel of experts in this video to discuss the international concerns of countries that have transitioned from low-income to middle-income status. A varied group of individuals offers insights as to an appropriate definition of middle-income status around the world and how this status influences accessibility to drugs and their prices. Potentially, a status of middle-income reduces a country's eligibility to receive global funds to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses.