United States Department of Health and Human Services: Out Loud

Black women make up 60% of all new HIV diagnoses in U.S. women despite accounting for less than 15% of the female population. Research showed that there was low community dialogue on the subject and all too often a discomfort from healthcare providers discussing matters of sexual health with Black women.

The video features a performance by Ebony Payne-English, a poet and long term HIV survivor, recounting her journey about coming to terms with her diagnosis. The spot follows Ebony through three realities: a present state environment where she is applying makeup in front of a mirror and literally and metaphorically preparing to reveal herself, a foggy dystopian state of confusion, and a bright garden of future possibility. The action cuts between each location, punctuating the emotion of her words as she alternates between shame, despair, fear, and frustration. The film ends with a message of self-acceptance and encouragement – reminding all of us those living with HIV are both worthy of love and true intimacy thanks to advancements in HIV treatment.

Video of Ebony

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