Behold, the power of YouTube. If its status as the 3rd most visited site on the internet says anything, it’s that people like to watch videos. It can actually be a great resource for sexual health, especially for people who might be embarrassed to ask someone in real life. Curious about how to use a female condom? Need to brush up on some vintage Fresh Prince pickup lines? It’s as easy as pointing and clicking.
It’s relatively straightforward to put concrete, “how-to” information in a video, but what if you want to take on something more abstract – something like stigma around HIV testing? You won’t make much headway saying “Step 1: Don’t hate on people for getting tested. Step 2: Treat people who are positive with respect.” doesn’t do much to normalize testing or to change people’s perception of HIV.
R&B singer Marshall Titus and photographer and director John Gress had a different idea. Inspired by the concept behind the photography project, “A Day with HIV in America”, they turned the idea into a music video. Take a look:
Through the familiar medium of the music video, “I Will” gives viewers something the might never have seen before: an intimate, sensitive portrayal of a person recently diagnosed with HIV. Unlike other PSAs or sex education videos, “I Will” doesn’t brand its subject as a person with a disease but instead simply presents a unique individual, living his life the best way he knows how, one day at a time.
Titus said of the video, “Music is the universal language, and I intend to speak to the world though my music.” Considering the amount of discussion it’s already created, we think he’s on the right track – and we like where he’s going with it.