'It Gets Betterish' Goes in for an HIV Test: VIDEO


Gay comics Eliot Glazer and Brent Sullivan take a lighter look at the stresses of getting an HIV test in a new episode of their series "It Gets Betterish".


On a related note, Think Progress reports:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that almost three out of four Americans with HIV are not receiving enough medicine or regular health care “to stay healthy or prevent themselves from transmitting the virus to others.” Out of the 1.2 million people in the U.S. have HIV, 850,000 aren’t receiving regular treatment to keep the virus at a low enough level to prevent transmission or hurt their own health and 240,000 Americans don’t even know they’re infected with HIV.

How many of you know your HIV status?

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  1. HIV has never been proven to cause AIDS. Do your own research. Stop the mass murder of Gays and African Americans with deadly drugs
    like AZT etc.

    Posted by: David | Dec 1, 2011 8:34:21 AM

  2. I'm kind of torn when I see messages like this. On the one hand, yes, you can live a very normal life if you are HIV positive, and we've fought long and hard against the stigma associated with it. On the other hand this is an extremely serious disease, and I feel like messages like this downplay the profound gravity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. As someone who came of age in the 80's I really feel like we're giving the younger generations exactly the wrong impression about HIV. It's literally a life and death issue.

    Posted by: MT | Dec 1, 2011 9:21:01 AM

  3. @David

    Ignorance, like what you are perpetuating, is what causes AIDS.

    The Christine Maggiore, the biggest "denialist" who made a career of it, never took HIV medications and still died of AIDS as did her infant child.

    Posted by: QJ201 | Dec 1, 2011 9:38:32 AM

  4. @MT. I have to agree. I'm torn between messages like this as well. On one hand it provides some useful information but then there's the backlash of making light of a serious problem. I, for example, live in rural USA. The stigma of being HIV+ astounds me. I literally have no gay friends because everyone I've disclosed to has nothing to do with me once they know. I've been poz for 18 years and I'm very healthy but it's far from living a normal life. I have to travel many miles to see my infectious disease specialist. I've had pharmacists try to refuse to fill prescriptions for HIV meds, and been told by a case manager how sorry they were that I had turned from Christ and chosen to live a life that had led me down this destructive path. My father even kicked me out of the family after I told him I had HIV saying he could accept me being gay but this was too shameful for him and he never wanted to see me or hear from me again.

    Sorry if this seems like a rant but while I appreciate the well meaning of this sort of video I feel that it misses a whole population of people who may live a normal life on the outside but life is anything but normal in reality. The truth of the matter is HIV does change a person...and it should. Life as you know it will never be the same and you are damn lucky if you have a good support group of friends and family. Count your blessings and be grateful for them.

    Posted by: Randy | Dec 1, 2011 10:55:40 AM

  5. I do! And yes, HIV causes AIDS. Out and proud!

    Posted by: John in Denver | Dec 1, 2011 11:01:00 AM

  6. Aw, Randy! Come to New York. We'll take good care of you.

    Posted by: MT | Dec 1, 2011 11:19:44 AM

  7. MT! Wish I could! I've checked into making a move but just not possible right now. I'm only a 3 hour drive from NYC. But thanks for he invite! :)It's much appreciated.

    Posted by: Randy | Dec 1, 2011 11:41:19 AM

  8. What surprising. Trolls trolling. Yawn.

    Posted by: Lexxvs | Dec 1, 2011 12:29:59 PM

  9. the message that HIV is manageable is very important. many people avoid testing because they fear the results. newly diagnosed may avoid care because of fear and denial. i truly think the best approach is to call HIV what it really is - a chronic, communicable condition. we may cure the disease before we ever completely overcome the stigma and discrimination, but holding HIV up as a boogeyman won't advance that cause.

    i like the video because clearly neither character wants HIV, they both suffer undue stress from their naivety, and the process of coming to grips with what an HIV diagnosis actually means (though it happens very quickly in this medium - a 10 minute film) feels very true to life.

    Also, AIDS is a syndrome, not a disease. it's not tangible. the diagnosis is only permanent because scientists thought it always would be, 20-30 years ago. it's just a label or definition that scientists have used, and doesn't serve much of a purpose in this age of effective medicine. saying HIV doesn't cause AIDS is like saying being an ignorant troll doesn't cause Annoying-Commenter-Syndrome.

    Posted by: James | Dec 1, 2011 12:57:04 PM

  10. I liked that the filmmakers took on a different tone from their previous video and mixed things up. The strongest portion of the short were the first couple minutes. I still think the liberal/conservative video was their best so far.

    As far as messaging, I'm torn. James brings up some excellent points (the video had a tricky difference to split). However, I still feel inclined to agree more with MT and Randy.

    The question is: which mindsets are more susceptible in greater numbers? 1) The belief of those who have unsafe sex, believe that HIV is a death sentence so why bother getting tested and continue to have unsafe sex or 2) The belief of those who are inclined to have unsafe sex, because HIV is a manageable disease. Both mindsets are asinine. But how much does #1 need to be taken into consideration until #2 grows out of control?

    I don't know.

    Posted by: Cinesnatch | Dec 2, 2011 1:33:18 AM

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