Gilead Sciences’ “Healthysexual” campaign broke new ground last month with TV ads promoting HIV prevention and the daily pill Truvada as PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). Now, the drug giant’s new video series MyHealthysexualStory is featuring celebrity advocates sharing their tales about addressing stigma and healthy sex practices to “help prevent HIV and other STIs [sexually transmitted infections] in a sex-positive and inclusive way,” according to a Gilead press release.
The three advocates in the latest stage of the Healthysexual campaign are:
Julian Walker: singer, actor (Blackbird) and celebrity ambassador for the Mobilizing Our Brothers Initiative
Carmen Carrera: transgender activist, model and actress, and RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant
Daniel Franzese: actor (Mean Girls, Looking) and comedian
They “are sharing their stories in hopes that people will relate to their journeys through exploring their sexuality, dealing with stigma and empowering themselves to take control of their sexual health,” states the release.
Notably, the three participants are members of regions and communities at higher risk for HIV: the Southern United States, transgender people and Black and Latino men who have sex with men.
For example, according to the press release, Walker’s video features a discussion centering on “the barriers gay men living in the southeastern part of the United States often experience when trying to access sexual health services and information and how that helped drive his passion for HIV prevention and treatment.”
What’s more, the campaign aims to connect individuals with advocacy groups involved with these communities, including Latinos Salud, Mobilizing Our Brothers Initiative, Southern AIDS Coalition and TransLatin@ Coalition.
In his video, which is not yet available, Franzese discusses a close friend’s HIV diagnosis journey.
In Carrera’s video, which centers on the topic of the absence of “sexual health information for transgender women,” the actress talks candidly about the need for open discussion about sexual health. Carrera also mentions that she lost her father to AIDS.
“As an actress and a model, I’ve learned how to be open with my feelings and emotions onscreen,” Carrera says in the video. “But as a Latina transgender woman living in the real world, I know just how tough it can be for some people to talk openly about things like sex and sexual health,” Carrera continues. “That’s why I’ve teamed up with Gilead on Healthysexual. To talk about preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.”
To read about the first stage of Gilead’s Healthysexual campaign, click here.