Think HIV isn’t affecting your generation here at home in the United States? Think again. This World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, tune in for the ground-breaking MTV documentary “I’m Positive,” airing at 7 pm ET. For the first time ever, MTV will air a 60-minute special digging deep into the lives of three young people from across the U.S. living with HIV. The show, produced by Dr. Drew and created by Lo Bosworth, centers around the challenges and daily triumphs of Kelly, Stephanie and Otis:
Kelly – a true California girl – is laid-back, funny, artsy, and loves hanging out with her friends. She’s HIV positive, and for six months now Kelly has been dating Aaron, who is HIV negative. Their relationship moved fast, and it’s been increasingly rocky. The two are now trying to figure out the next step – whether that’s breaking up or staying together.
Stephanie – a confident, single Southern belle from North Carolina – found out that she was HIV positive when she was just 19 years old. Stephanie contracted the virus after having unprotected sex just once with a partner. While HIV is a part of her daily life, it doesn’t define who she is – she still struggles with the everyday challenges of relationships with family and friends.
Otis – the oldest child in a large, close-knit family – feels responsible to set an example for his younger siblings. That’s why it was hard for him to tell his family he is HIV positive, after having just come out as gay the year before. Currently, Otis is in a serious relationship with his boyfriend, Kanjhe, and they are both committed to making sure that he stays HIV negative.
Although nearly 1.2 million Americans are HIV positive, it’s rare to go behind the diagnosis and see what living with HIV each day is really like. “I’m Positive” pushes past the common myths and stereotypes surrounding HIV and shows that HIV is a part of people’s lives, but doesn’t become their lives.
After the show, there are a ton of ways to learn more about HIV/AIDS and how you can protect yourself and your health. A web-exclusive after show special will be hosted Dr. Drew on MTV.com.
And while you’re online, check out GYTNow.org. Getting the right information and being informed is the first step in protecting yourself and others from HIV. The site can also help you find cheap and low cost testing near you. Even if you’re positive, all STDs and HIV are treatable, and the webpage can guide you in those next steps.
Remember, whether positive or negative, we all have a role to play in ending AIDS. Be a force for positive change.