Join the conversation: That’s what the new CDC video campaign Start Talking. Stop HIV is asking us to do with its brand-new launch. We need to talk to each other more about sex, HIV and prevention, and the new campaigns shows us what those conversations can look like.
These videos give us a seat at the table. You’ll watch as a diverse group of gay men chat about the various issues we face when it comes to HIV. They’re simple yet real conversations, and they’re familiar to us because as gay men we have these very chats on apps, in bedrooms and over dinner.
The future of HIV prevention for gay men in this country seems very uncertain. It’s now possible that millions of Americans could lose their health care. We also don’t know how this new administration will deal with gay men, sex and HIV. Most signs, in fact, point to real trouble.
The CDC’s new campaign has even more resonance because as policy and politics have become more extreme and divisive, these videos celebrate gay men and all our incredible diversity.
We are young. We are poz. We are on PrEP. We are men of color. We are affirmed and celebrated.
Here’s why you should check out this new campaign:
Our diversity is our strength, and to be able to see that reflected in a campaign geared toward gay men is powerful. Gay men are more severely impacted by HIV than any other group in the United States. One in two black gay men, and one in four Latino gay men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. We can’t possibly seek to reverse those trends unless we value the lives of gay men of color and reflect the authentic experiences of all gay men.
PrEP is the HIV prevention pill that is taken daily to prevent HIV. PrEP is still relatively new and has received lots of press, but there are still large parts of our community who don’t know about it—particularly young gay men of color. We must take every opportunity to talk about PrEP. Access can be challenging for some, but we must continue to fight to ensure that everyone has access to this highly effective prevention option. To find PrEP near you, visit preplocator.org.
¡Aqui estamos! These days, just saying “Buenos dias” is a political act, so it’s very encouraging to see videos in Spanish with gay Latinos discussing their lives. As previously mentioned, one in four Latino gay men will likely be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. Additionally, immigrants were left out of the ACA, and “English-only” has become a charged political issue. Spanish-speaking gay Latinos are a critical part of our community, and it’s essential that we create health campaigns illustrating their lived experiences.
HIV can be a tricky topic for some gay men. Men can feel nervous, uncomfortable and afraid. But these “Start Talking” videos should make engaging in a conversation a little bit easier.