Following is a statement from NMAC Executive Director Paul Kawata on “Pose” star Billy Porter’s disclosure of his HIV status.
“NMAC applauds Billy Porter on his disclosure of his HIV status. At NMAC, we know how much stigma around HIV cripples our ability to end the epidemic. It’s what keeps people from talking with their partners about HIV. It’s what keeps people from protecting themselves because they don’t feel worthy. It’s what keeps people away from doctors, clinics, and testing sites. And it perpetuates feelings of shame and deepens depression and poor self-esteem. As an award-winning actor, the lead of a hit TV show, and a gay man of color, Billy Porter’s disclosure can have a big impact on HIV stigma, particularly in communities of color where it remains a major obstacle.
“We are so happy that this disclosure is bringing him a sense of relief and release of pain and trauma. Billy is an amazing actor, singer, dancer, and now role model for people of color living with or affected by HIV. We look forward to having him as a partner in the fight against HIV.”
NMAC leads with race to urgently fight for health equity and racial justice to end the HIV epidemic in America. Since 1987, NMAC has advanced our mission through a variety of programs and services, including: a public policy education program, national and regional training conferences, a treatment and research program, numerous electronic and print materials, and a website: www.nmac.org. NMAC also serves as an association of AIDS service organizations, providing valuable information to community-based organizations, hospitals, clinics, and other groups assisting individuals and families affected by the HIV epidemic.