Thrive, A Film To Update The Public Narrative On HIV

A young gay man is forced to disclose his HIV+ status to a sexual partner, for the first time.

The short movie – created by Jamie Di Spirito – hopes to update the public narrative on what it’s like for someone to live with HIV with today’s medication available.

Thrive follows a young gay man living in London called Joe, who is HIV-positive. Joe is played by the stunning artist/performer Sadiq Ali. 

Using mobile apps for casual sex, Joe meets Alex. The two men share instant chemistry and intimacy, however after their sexual encounter, Joe becomes withdrawn at the suggestion of a date.

While getting ready to leave, Alex is inquisitive about a bottle of Joe’s HIV medication, which he has mistakenly left out. With no intention of disclosing his status, Joe feigns ignorance at first, but is caught off-guard when Alex outright asks him if he is HIV positive.

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Joe reluctantly concedes and explains that because of his treatment his HIV is undetectable and therefore he’s not infectious.

Revealing that this is the first time he has disclosed his HIV+ status, Joe is surprised by what he learns from Alex.

There are so many powerful, amazing films and books that tell stories about HIV and AIDS. The public narrative, most people’s reference point for HIV are these many heartfelt stories, stories of contagion, struggle, activism and death.

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These references are outdated and are dramatically different from the reality of living with HIV in 2018. With access to medication, you have a normal life expectancy and the treatment means you become what is known as ‘undetectable‘, which means you cannot pass the virus on to sexual partners!

More: Researchers Are Trying To Make A Once-A-Week HIV Pill

‘THRIVE’ is an important story that needs to be told now because the public narrative on HIV needs to be updated based on current facts, with characters who aren’t infectious, aren’t dying and ultimately are living happy and healthy lives.

Support THRIVE with your donation here.