To commemorate National HIV Testing Day, Hornet, the world’s premier gay social network (and parent company of this site) has made a history by launching an ad campaign that integrates the experience of people living with HIV.
Its most recent marketing campaign features two HIV-positive men having a discussion on the app. One approaches the other with the simple phrase, “Poz here too,” and that begins a chat about dating, disclosure and life with HIV.
Here’s the video:
The experience of HIV-positive gay men on gay social networking apps has generated great debate and discussion. HIV-positive men often report experiencing stigma on various apps, but Hornet’s new video shows some of the benefits of positive men making connections.
Many HIV-positive men experience isolation or feel a lack of support. Social networking apps can help by allowing for support, community and even potential hook ups. Unlike some social apps, Hornet’s Know Your Status feature lets users indicate their HIV status and encourages users to get regularly tested and learn more about HIV prevention and treatment options.
Outside of commercials for HIV medications, general culture or media have far too few representations of people living with HIV. Even though the LGBTQ community has demanded greater LGBTQ representation in marketing for years, media depictions of gay men with HIV are usually outdated, sad or meant to invoke pity.
Hornet’s latest video takes LGBTQ representation one step further by demonstrating real-life situations for HIV-positive men, not in the context of prevention or healthcare, but simply as part of what it means to live with HIV in the modern world.
When HIV-positive gay men are shown as complex human beings, as opposed to profiles in courage or cautionary tales, it creates a stronger understanding of what it means to live with HIV today and encourages everyone — no matter their HIV status — to engage each other compassionately and with a desire to learn and grow together.
(Featured image by pixelfit via iStock Photography)