Kelly is a true California cool girl—laid-back, funny, and artsy. She is also living life with HIV. It can be hard at times, but she has good friends supporting her. For 6 months she’s been seeing Aaron, who is HIV negative. Like any couple, they have their ups and downs. Recently, Kelly has begun speaking out publicly as part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Let’s Stop HIV Together” campaign.
Otis is a charismatic 25-year-old from Dallas, Texas with a huge smile and large laugh. Family has always been very important to him, and even more so since he learned a few years ago that he was living with HIV. His boyfriend, Kanjhe, is also very important to him. Otis and Kanjhe have been together for 10 months and everything is going great. Both are committed to making sure Kanjhe stays negative. Recently, Otis joined Greater Than AIDS, a national movement to end AIDS in America. He and his father are currently featured on billboards sharing their story about how the love of family and ongoing treatment are helping Otis to stay healthy and well.
Stephanie is a confident, beautiful, young woman navigating life with HIV. The disease does not define her. Whether through her poetry, drawing, or modeling, Stephanie loves to express herself creatively. It’s hard at times for her to live so far away from her mother who has always supported her, but she’s committed to making her own way. When her mother hears her share her story before a group of young people, she is able to witnesses for herself the self-assured woman Stephanie is becoming.
I’m Positive, a documentary special from MTV, developed with the Kaiser Family Foundation and with funding from Gilead Sciences, explores what it means to be young and HIV positive in America today. For a generation that has never known a world without HIV/AIDS, the show comes at a critical time in the history of the epidemic when an AIDS-free future is within reach.
Produced by Lauren Dolgen, the award-winning creator of MTV’s 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom, together with Dr. Drew Pinksy, Executive Producer, and Lo Bosworth, the one-hour program follows the lives of Kelly, Otis and Stephanie, three young Americans living with HIV in 2012. From the challenges they face to their hopes for the future, the show provides an up-close and personal look at HIV from the perspectives of three young people, their families and friends.
Whether positive or negative, we all have a role to play in ending this epidemic.