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YouTube User Discloses HIV-Positive Status in Video

February 17, 2014

Making the decision to disclose your HIV status is a big deal -- so why not do it in a big way? For Nolan Hill, the Internet was the best venue to tell his story. "I would really like to educate others about HIV stigma, and all that people go through when diagnosed," he said. In a 17-minute video titled "My Confession" that he posted to YouTube on Jan. 20, Hill masterfully tells his story by weaving together pre-written cue cards and a Top-40 playlist including songs by Katy Perry, Sara Bareilles and Pink.

Hill's story is remarkable. It includes his challenges coming out as gay, his issues with his family and a car accident that started the events leading to his diagnosis. Check out the video below:

[Editor's note 03/21/14: Due to copyright concerns regarding the music used, YouTube took down Nolan's video. Nolan provided TheBody.com with this version of the video in which he has changed the background music.]



What do you think? Does any of Hill's story ring true for you? Have you ever used a grand gesture to tell someone your HIV status? Hill wants to use the Internet and his story to fight stigma. Do you think this is the way to do it? Discuss in the comment section!

Mathew Rodriguez is the editorial project manager for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.

Follow Mathew on Twitter: @mathewrodriguez.


Copyright © 2014 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.


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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Delano Mac off the Corbin (washington dc) Thu., Dec. 4, 2014 at 2:52 pm EST
does he have AIDS
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Comment by: Kentrell Newberry (Kathleen, GA) Thu., Jul. 17, 2014 at 7:04 pm EDT
Me and my boyfriend are HIV+ and we dealing with the problem...we just taking one day at a time...your video gave me hope that one day we will find a cure to end the disease. We have to stick together and make sure that we take care of our self.
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Comment by: Dona Scruggs (Jacksonville, Florida) Mon., Apr. 21, 2014 at 10:22 pm EDT
Be sure to take your antiviral drugs they are very important.
Reply to this comment


Comment by: Zachary (Fresno, CA) Sat., Apr. 19, 2014 at 10:32 pm EDT
Although I hate to admit I have also had a stigma towards HIV+ individuals; it's events in my life and confessions like Nolan that break the chains locking my heart and bleach the hands for touching is possible. YES I WAS THAT SCARED. I'm ashamed however, the Lord made me see the beautiful light in a dark room such as Nolan's experience. Only difference is I'm HIV new but awaiting the 6.month mark due to a high risk exposure. MYSELF TOPPING A HIV + man I truly loved. Unfortunately when he tested positive the day after we made love he turned to drugs and alcohol. He also stated we didn't make love because it only took me 30 seconds to ejaculate.
Truth is I was very much making my emotions and hormones were In sync! Being concerned I did not use a condom I purchased two oral rapid test. The unthinkable happened. His test was positive and mine neg.
What happened next was I waited 10 hours and went to.get him a second rapid test. POSITIVE again. We finally went to a clinic 4 days later with blood rapid testing. He was + I was -.
I held him as he cried. I consoled him the best I could. In summary I love this man but his drugs have gotten worse and alcoholism. I had never thought myself to be in a magnetic relationship... but I would for him. I love him that much. However, he wants drugs more then me. I continue to pray for him and myself. I know in my heart and God's whispers this is a learning experience... and quite humbling. I will never, ever, stigmatized HIV+ humans or AIDS. PLEASE FORGIVE ME. I have so much love inside me
Accompanied with guilt and fear. I have became the fear and will succeed in what ever the lord plans for me.i have 7 weeks to go until 3 month mark. I have had 3 oral and one blood rapid tests neg. I don't know what the future holds. But I know I will be holding hands with HIV patients regardless of race, sex, or how acquired. Somehow I realize I'm here to help. As unusual as that sounds it's the truth that slapped me. PRAY FOR US,plz
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Comment by: Zachary (Fresno, CA) Sat., Apr. 19, 2014 at 10:10 pm EDT
Although I hate to admit I have also had a stigma towards HIV+ individuals; it's events in my life and confessions like Nolan that break the chains locking my heart and bleach the hands for touching is possible. YES I WAS THAT SCARED. I'm ashamed however, the Lord made me see the light.
Reply to this comment


Comment by: brad (michigan) Tue., Apr. 15, 2014 at 11:44 am EDT
Its been a year since finding out. I have not told only a couple close people and partner and they are supportive. But getting tired and feeling what's the point.
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Comment by: Abhijeet (pune) Sat., Mar. 29, 2014 at 2:48 am EDT
amazing u are ..!! lots of love
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Comment by: Greg (San Francisco) Sun., Mar. 9, 2014 at 10:57 am EDT
Living in my little bubble in San Francisco, I lose touch with the fact that so many people still have to struggle not only with health issues but also with the stigma and the isolation. Nolan my heart goes out to you and to everyone like you as I am sure that there are many. Your are obviously a very strong individual and have survived with your dignity and humanity intact. Thank you for sharing your personal story and I hope that you find all the love and support that you desire. It seems to me that the people that have you in their lives are blessed. Hang in their and never forget what a great guy you are.
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Comment by: Jan (Portugal) Mon., Mar. 3, 2014 at 11:10 pm EST
Well this was truly an inspiring confession. I have been HIV + since 2003 and no more then 3/4 people know my status.

You are bringing me courage.....
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Comment by: Charles (New Jersey) Mon., Mar. 3, 2014 at 1:40 pm EST
Thank you so much Nolan for this video. I cried as I read your note cards and heard your story. You are right we are not alone.

Charles
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Comment by: Carlos (Santiago, Chile) Mon., Mar. 3, 2014 at 6:23 am EST
I was feeling the god putting me into a little dark room when the doctor telling me diagnosis result. I'm HIV+, after that day I can't stop my mind to keep thinking that how long time remaining for me still could be alive.. I can't help it and sleepless every night. Where is my future? I don't know. I'm not sure anymore..
Reply to this comment


Comment by: Jason (Oklahoma City) Sun., Mar. 2, 2014 at 8:18 am EST
I have to say - this past week was my 3 year anniversary (anniversary? - jeez) for testing positive and I've never felt stronger and my will to FIGHT THE F*ING STIGMA (only without using the word "f*ing) is strong. I think eventually I will have to have a t-shirt made that says POSITIVE and PROUD. I never wanted HIV and wasn't a "chaser" - but you can't change the past or dwell on it - you have to move on and make your future. The video is a great step - glad you did it and made your stand.
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Comment by: Kris (Netherlands) Fri., Feb. 28, 2014 at 3:43 am EST
Hi Nolan,

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm sorry you had to deal with all this pain in your life, but most of all I applaud the way you are dealing with it and how you bend it into new choices and new inspiration. You inspired me too, thank you! Best wishes!
Reply to this comment


Comment by: Brian (MI) Thu., Feb. 27, 2014 at 8:09 pm EST
You are a brilliant young man! I commend your courage and honesty. Coming from a straight man I can attest that this disease does not discriminate. Like you as a result of this I am on a better path and along better life decisions. Please continue moving forward in a positive light! I consider you my friend and would enjoy the opportunity to speak with you about what we can do to stop this stigma.
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Comment by: Queen (East Cleveland, OH) Thu., Feb. 27, 2014 at 12:11 pm EST

Beautiful.
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Comment by: lee (fla) Sun., Feb. 23, 2014 at 2:30 pm EST
VERY POWERFUL..very well said and very true !
u r a brave soul and have given me courage and hope.
thank u !
Reply to this comment


Comment by: Z (Chile) Sat., Feb. 22, 2014 at 9:36 am EST
I loved you :P
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Comment by: Sascha (Rome,IT) Fri., Feb. 21, 2014 at 11:02 pm EST
Unfortunately I don't believe in God. .but I believe in people like you and your video gives me hope..I wish I was there just to give you a BIG HUG :)
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Comment by: Gita Tanner (South Africa) Thu., Feb. 20, 2014 at 5:21 pm EST
I am truly touched and moved by this video. I am so proud of this gentleman and i pray that this video reaches millions of viewers. so encouraging and brave to come out and say it as it is. All infor from him was worth the read and should be of great encuragement and help to those who want to give up hope.. HIV people are Normal..
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Comment by: Ed (Boston) Thu., Feb. 20, 2014 at 3:56 pm EST
Your video blew me away, Nolan! Your confession is profound and honest and beautifully written, and gave me (7+ years as HIV+) much to think about. And you are quite right about HIV stigma -- alive and well and living next door, and around the corner. The best way to fight it is to do exactly what you've just done. Thank you, from the bottom of my (undetectable) heart.
Reply to this comment


Comment by: Christopher (Pasadena) Wed., Feb. 19, 2014 at 9:15 pm EST
God bless you Nolan. I've had Aids since 2008 and doing great. I left the gay lifestyle for that reason. In 2008 I attempted suicide but evidently God had another plan for me. I nearly died in 2008 from Aids and a drug addiction. Today my health has returned and I'm drug free. I'm also a Catholic brother in Los Angeles. Take care buddy and God bless.
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Comment by: Derek (Venice ) Wed., Feb. 19, 2014 at 4:43 pm EST
Well said Nolan. Your words are inspirational. Our stories are all different but after all the negative experiences you've had, I have a huge amount of respect for your positive outlook and what you've been so brave to do. Many of your words will stay with me as I struggle through the first few months of challenges. Thank you! D
Reply to this comment


Comment by: Iris (guelph) Wed., Feb. 19, 2014 at 4:11 pm EST
I always said.....half of everyone I know will know my status, and the other half never will!!!!
Then my son died, at that time I found out that my
status had already been revealed anyway.
So what wasted energy. You are what you are, and
if people have a problem with that. Maybe you shouldn't allow them in your life anyway.
Choose the people who are willing to appreciate
you, the people who will support you, and the
people who will love you, and that is all that really matters. Other than that love and appreciate yourself, because you are worth it.
This comes from a female who has experienced a lot
in life. I nearly died from side effects, but guess what, I am still here, I am doing well, and
nothing and nobody is going to keep me down.
You've gotta keep on trucking!!!!!
Cheers and love.
Iris
Reply to this comment


Comment by: Christopher (Cleveland,OH) Mon., Feb. 17, 2014 at 9:07 pm EST
First of all I would like to give you a GREAT BIG HUG!! I too remember that cold dark room, the fear and the loneliness that would follow. Almost 20yrs later some of those same feelings still resonate and some will always be there. It's what we do with them that makes us a stronger person today. I see that STRONG person in YOU! A BRAVE EMPOWERD young man who's voice is now being heard! People have said "if sharing your story helps just one person it's worth it" I can tell you, yours has helped me today. I know it will help MANY MANY more!!
I THANK YOU, Nolan Hill! You are an INSPIRATION !!
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Comment by: j (Chicago) Mon., Feb. 17, 2014 at 5:15 pm EST
He's brave.
I still can't.
:(
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Replies to this comment:
Comment by: Michael (Cincinnati, OH) Sat., Feb. 22, 2014 at 3:12 pm EST
J, don't feel bad. It's a very personal decision, and there are many good reasons for NOT disclosing your status. People living with HIV do face a lot of stigma and discrimination, so if you feel safer and more secure keeping your status to yourself, then do that! Do what you need to do to protect yourself, and don't let anybody tell you what you should do! If you have nobody to talk to, then please do find some kind of help with a local AIDS organization or knowledgeable and empathetic social worker, counselor or therapist. You need to talk to somebody about it, but somebody who will keep your information confidential and respect you! My best to you!
Comment by: Charles (New Jersey) Mon., Mar. 3, 2014 at 1:45 pm EST
Guess what J....You just disclosed your status to those of us that follow thebody.com and all the wonderful people who make up thebody.com that provide us with love, understanding and support. It deosn't matter that you disclsosed through a cyber posting, the fact remains you disclosed it to all of us. You have all of our unconditional, love and support.
Charles in NJ


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