Launched in the fall of 2016, Tonic is VICE’s new digital channel covering health, wellness, and advances in medical science. For World AIDS Day 2016, Tonic created this video.
Here’s their video description:
HIV diagnoses in the United States have generally plummeted since the 1980s, and treatment strategies are now so effective that some are beginning to talk about the end of the AIDS epidemic. However, for gay black men in America, the chances of getting HIV in a lifetime are still one in two. In some Southern states, the rates of infection for black men who have sex with men rival rates in underdeveloped countries like Botswana. Once diagnosed with HIV, these men are unable to access the medicine, clinical resources and psychological support they need to keep life threatening AIDS diagnoses at bay
We travel to Jackson, Mississippi, one of the hardest hit Southern cities, to investigate why black gay men are getting diagnosed and falling to a disease that can be managed. We’ll discuss issues tied to systematic racial discrimination, such as low income and poverty, lack of access to adequate health care, limited HIV testing and education and stigma attached to the virus. We’ll meet heroic social workers and researchers struggling to bring HIV+ the care they need, as well as HIV+ men who are speaking out about their disease in hopes of changing the stigmas attached to it.
To read Tonic’s profile and portrait series with the subjects of the documentary, click here.
To read the 2016 POZ 100 celebrating HIV/AIDS advocates in the South, click here.