Meet Antoinette, Ja’Mel, Emelinda and Tboy: real people living with HIV bravely sharing their powerful stories of stigma and discrimination.

Antoinette is an ASO Peer Specialist and movie buff in Atlanta, Georgia. The 24-year-old contracted HIV from her mother when she was born. Childhood memories of friends not being allowed to play around her cultivated a fear of revealing her status. By educating herself, she developed confidence and went on to become an advocate.

Ja’Mel is a professional ad guy who loves reading and cooking and lives in Atlanta, Georgia. The 31-year-old transgender male experienced stigma early on when he was not allowed to enroll in school because of his HIV status. Even his college roommate initially requested to be transferred. Today, he advocates for HIV education and is still friends with that roommate.

Emelinda is a Patient Financial Representative and jewelry artist in Clearwater, Florida. The 44-year-old contracted HIV through unprotected sex with a long-term. Despite some early negative reaction from one family member, she has the support of her family and is now strong, open and honest about her status.

Tboy lives in Miami, Florida. The 29-year-old comes from a large, tight-knit Haitian family. Originally, both of his parents and one of his sisters blamed him for contracting HIV. Even his friends in the gay community reinforced negative HIV stereotypes, prompting him to disclose his status and become an advocate.


A unique collaboration between ViiV Healthcare and Shutterstock Studios showing authentic imagery of real people living with HIV.

Focused on the gay and queer experience, Being Seen is a space to explore current cultural representations and their impact through conversations with leading artists, writers, activists, entertainers and community leaders.

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