April 12, 2017 | Arts / Entertainment

Mykki Blanco takes on AIDS stigma in latest video

Rapper, performance artist, and activist Mykki Blanco released his debut studio album, Mykki, in late 2016.
 
He decided to revisit the track, "Hideaway," and turned it into an artful examination of the effect of HIV stigma on romantic partnerships. The new video was released in honor of National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, which took place on Monday. 
 
The artist has been open about his struggles with the disease. When he announced he was HIV+ in 2015, he took to Facebook and wrote: "Fuck stigma and hiding in the dark. This is my real life."
 
The video -- which was created in collaboration with W Magazine -- centers on a couple, one HIV+ and one not. 
 
"When we choose to stigmatize those living with HIV, we do a disservice to our own community," Blanco explains at the beginning of the video. "As someone who has lived healthily with the disease for almost 5 years now, I know all too well the fear of persecution and shame, and what that can do to one's character and life. Love and happiness, compassion -- they're birthrights of the human condition. 37 million people live with HIV [and] deserve that just like anyone else."
 

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