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Fashion magazine spoke to Carmen Logie about harmful stigmas perpetuated in Hollywood and the impact they have on LGBTQ+ communities

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Fashion magazine spoke to Associate Professor Carmen Logie about harmful stigmas that continue to be perpetuated in Hollywood and the impact that they have on LGBTQ+ communities.

“On August 2, rapper DaBaby apologized for homophobic comments he made during his performance at Rolling Loud music festival on July 25. ‘If you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that’ll make you die in two or three weeks, put your cellphone light in the air,’ he announced in the middle of his set, as reported by Newsweek. He made additional derogatory remarks about women’s bodies and members of the LGBTQ+ community.”

As Natalie Michie writes, DaBaby’s comments reflected those Logie remembers hearing growing up, but they do not reflect developments in research and scientific knowledge around HIV and AIDS and contribute to misinformation and casual homophobia.

“We have done a really bad job of having the media align with science,” Logie tells FASHION. “There’s a lot of silence around HIV. I don’t really see, in any of the big blockbuster movies that I’ve seen, anybody living with HIV.” She commends the impact of TV shows like Pose, which explores HIV in a complex way and stars Billy Porter, who is open about living with HIV himself. However, we rarely see movies and TV shows feature characters living HIV-positive when it’s not their main, often tragic storyline. But the thing is, HIV can just be a part of someone’s life.

“The strongest level of evidence you can have shows that when a person living with HIV is taking their medication and [it’s] virally suppressed, there’s no chance they can transmit the virus,” explains Logie, whose research focuses on HIV and stigma. “There’s every chance that, given a healthy diet and secure housing — the social determinants of health, a person living with HIV can live a long, healthy and happy life. You could have a partner who is HIV-negative, if you’re HIV-positive, and not transmit the virus if you are undetectable on your medication. You can have children and not transmit the virus to children. There’s so much hope. And there’s so much progress, scientifically, that it is disappointing when I see that social progress is behind the science.”

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