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Powerful New Music Video Seeks To Stop The Stigma Of HIV

Powerful New Music Video “I Will” Released Emotional Story Line Seeks To Stop The Stigma of HIV

Singer/songwriter Marshall Titus and photographer/director John Gress have announced the release of their new moving music Video, “I Will,” a powerful and personal work. Together they hope to address the issue of the stigmatization of HIV positive people within the gay community.

Press Release:

Singer and songwriter Marshall Titus & film director and photographer John Gress released a ground breaking, emotional new music video about HIV September 15th, titled ?I Will.? In its first three days online, over 5,000 people viewed the poignant piece. The music video was born out of a campaign that seeks to stop the stigma of HIV. Gress and Titus want to help create a new consciousness that will transform the public?s fear of HIV into a simple message: if more people get tested and enter into treatment then fewer people will become infected with the virus. ?I Will? encourages us to hope and forge ahead in times of personal crisis, to find strength in oneself, one?s community and one?s friends. It pushes us to face the HIV threat for what it truly is, and not what we imagine it to be.

Thirty years into the AIDS epidemic, fear still divides the gay community. ?The focus solely on condom usage and fear have not lead to comprehensive rational decision making,? Gress said, ?it has led to a rift in our society that not only divides us, but it makes people afraid to be tested for HIV, because the last thing anyone wants to be is marginalized.? Gress also added that ?people who are negative run from people who are positive, and people who are positive try to avoid rejection by avoiding people who are negative.? Because of such fears, the number of new persons diagnosed with the virus has increased among the gay community every year for almost 20 years. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, 19% of men who have sex with men are HIV-positive. 44% of those men don?t know their status and that 44% poses a grave threat to public health.

When people do get tested and treated for HIV, the positive effects on public health are dramatic. According to the National Institutes of Health, transmission of HIV is reduced by 96% when infected partners take medication for the virus. The same study showed that HIV positive individuals who are not on medication are more likely to transfer the virus. In light of this study, not knowing one?s status is the true threat our society faces. On the other hand, the likelihood that a diagnosed person will infect someone else is only 1-2% per year.

?I think people are still operating in a 30-year-old mindset,? said Titus. ?They?re not seeing the progress that has been made in treating and stopping the spread of HIV. The song and video ?I Will? speak to the courageous part of everyone. We have to be courageous in treating one another with greater dignity and move past our fears, especially in regards to HIV.?

Check out our previous post about the second annual “A Day With HIV in America” campaign.

Check out MARSHALL TITUS WEBSITE.

Follow Marshall via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, REVERBNATION, MYSPACE, and YOUTUBE.

Visit photographer/director JOHN GRESS WEBSITE and BLOG for more info.