Over 30 years ago, the HIV/AIDS epidemic sparked panic, fear, and misinformation. Fast forward to the present day, we now know that HIV affects people of all races, genders, and sexual orientations. Further, continuing research and new treatment options mean it is no longer considered a death sentence. In fact, most people who are HIV-positive and who seek and follow a treatment are able to live long, full lives.
Unfortunately, the stigma that is still attached to this disease causes many people to never get tested. According to AIDS.gov, of the estimated 1.2 million people in the United States who have HIV, almost 1 in 8 are unaware of their condition.
The following videos are powerful, personal, and educational looks at what it’s like to have HIV/AIDS, and what is currently being done to eradicate the disease forever.
Doctors Wolitski and McCray Discuss Data on Lifetime HIV Risk
Two doctors speak with AIDS.gov about the lifetime risks people in specific communities, including African American men, Latino men, and transgendered women, face with HIV. Learn what factors affect that risk as well as what is being done to address it.
The Face of HIV/AIDS: Then and Now
This is an effective view of the difference in what it was like to have HIV when it was first discovered, compared to what it is like now. The host, Tyler Curry, has makeup artists create what his face would have looked like during an earlier time, when life expectancies were short and treatments were lacking. Our host makes a poignant observation when he states: “My face would no longer be my face. It would be a symbol of a plague.”
First AIDS Patients Diagnosed 35 Years Ago
This NBC News look back at when AIDS was first diagnosed and reported in the United States highlights the fear and lack of knowledge that surrounded the disease during the 1980s epidemic. The piece provides good perspective on how far research, medications, and education about AIDS has come in 35 years.
A (Former) White House Intern's Personal Reflection on AIDS
A former White House intern shares a personal story with AIDS.gov about two of his uncles, who both died of complications from AIDS. Although he was young when they passed away, he grew up to learn about their advocacy work in regard to AIDS as well as their efforts to help those in need. Their lives have inspired him, and are sure to inspire you as well.
Greg Louganis talks HIV with GLAAD
U.S. Olympic diver Greg Louganis discusses the challenges of being gay during his time at the Olympic Games, as well as throughout his career. He also talks about what it was like finding out he was HIV-positive, and about his drug regimen and his current health.
HIV Stigma: Let's Challenge It
In this TEDx Talk, Dr. Carmen Logie shares the story and encounter that got her started in HIV research. She focuses on how social stigma can affect the treatment of HIV patients, and encourages safe sex practices and condom use. She also illuminates the reality that those in the LGBT community are at higher risk for crimes of sexual violence, especially in developing countries.
How the World Joined Together to End AIDS for Children
This is a moving look at the crisis of children becoming infected with and dying from AIDS in many developing countries. It discusses how organizations are working to end mother to child transmission, and get proper treatments and medications to children who are affected. It gives great visuals of the progress that has already been made, and what is left to be done.
I'm HIV Positive, Do You Dare to Touch Me?
After watching this video, prepared in Finnish, prepare to say “Wow,” as well as wipe away a few tears. The premise is simple: a man stands in a busy square with a sign stating that he is HIV-positive, and asks whether you are willing to touch him. Despite all of the world’s problems and prejudices, we see that compassion prevails.
Is It Easier to Get AIDS If You're Gay?
In this video, South African actor, singer, and media personality Troye Sivan addresses some of the misconceptions people have about HIV and AIDS, as well as some of the basics about how HIV is transmitted and how to prevent that. Caution: This video contains some graphic sexual language.
Josh Robbins Interviews: Walgreens & Greater Than AIDS
Josh Robbins of I'm Still Josh interviews a Walgreens pharmacist about their partnership with Greater Than AIDS and their sponsorship of free HIV testing. The best part is when Josh, the video host, actually goes through the steps of getting tested on film, including his results.
Living with AIDS
As these two personal stories prove, AIDS is not a death sentence. While they face challenges and are on intense medication regimens, they also have triumphs. Their stories and attitudes are positive and inspirational.
My HIV & AIDS Story
In this video, former reality TV personality Angela Myammee Pitts fights off the common misconceptions that people who have HIV or AIDS are promiscuous or drug addicts. She has been “living” with HIV since she was 5 years old, because that is when her mother and younger twin brothers were diagnosed. She urges people to show compassion: “It affects everybody … everybody is living amongst it and living with the reality of it.”
A Real-World Solution to AIDS in Asia
This video, narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, gives you a glimpse into the AIDS epidemic in Asia and the research and education being done to combat it. It highlights the organization Treat Asia and the work they are doing to get the information and treatments to the poor, drug users, women, and other groups that have been hit the hardest by AIDS in Asia.
The Science of HIV/AIDS
This informative animated whiteboard video showcases exactly what HIV and AIDS are at the cellular level. Effectively communicating a lot of information in an easy to understand manner, this is a great primer for anyone unfamiliar with how the disease works.
Shedding Light On the Shadow of Shame
In this TEDx Talk, we hear from Maggie Fisentat, who lost both of her parents to HIV/AIDS when she was a teenager. She discusses the shame she felt that her parents had had AIDS, and how she overcame it. She also discusses how shame is a major factor keeping many from getting the treatment they need.
What Do You Know About HIV/AIDS?
To get a sense of how much the average person really understands the disease, we had Josh Robbins ask people on the streets of Nashville a series of basic questions about HIV and AIDS. Are you surprised by the results?
When "Designing Women" Taught America About AIDS
This is a look at the unique place many Americans got their first education about AIDS: a sitcom named "Designing Women." While a comedy show is an unlikely source for AIDS education, they manage to provide more high-quality information than what the government was dolling out at the time, along with all too rare compassion.