Milan Christopher is trying to fight the stigma around sex and HIV in communities of colour.
The openly gay hip-hop star and LGBT activist – who recently launched his own sex toy range – has joined the PrEP’d AF campaign to raise awareness of the HIV prevention drug and says if conversations about sex aren’t normalised things will get worse.
In an interview with the Adovcate, Christopher said: “The best way to fight the stigma around sex and HIV in communities of colour is to talk about it.
“Communities of colour are most at-risk for [contracting] HIV. Right now, one in two black men who have sex with men will get HIV in their lifetime [if current rates continue].
“That is unacceptable. If we don’t normalize conversations about sex and preventing HIV with tools we already have — like PrEP and condoms — it’s only going to get worse.
“I truly believe the work I’m doing to educate people about PrEP is saving lives.”
The main purpose of the new campaign is to raise awareness that PrEP prevents HIV without impacting people’s ability to have active and fun sex lives.
And Christopher revealed he has had HIV scares in the passed and despite being on PrEP he will still wear a condom.
He said: “I’ve had friends die of [AIDS complications] and I’ve had scares where I thought I was exposed to HIV.
“This was happening before PrEP was available. When my doctor told me about a clinical trial for PrEP several years ago, I knew I wanted to try it to protect myself.
“I’ve been taking it ever since. I get my PrEP from the L.A. LGBT Center.
“The centre offers consultations, testing, and can help people get on PrEP. They can also help people get it at low or no cost.
“PrEP for me was always another layer of protection. I still use condoms when I have sex, but condoms break and accidents happen.
“But when they do, PrEP is still there to protect me from HIV.”