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HIV Anti-Stigma Activists Respond to Vine Star Nash Grier’s Homophobic Video

HIV Anti-Stigma Activists Respond to Vine Star Nash Grier’s Homophobic Video


The most followed Vine user implied that HIV was exclusively an LGBT issue

Pictured above: HIV Equal's Tyler Curry (left) and Dr. Gary Blick

Chances are -- if you're not an avid Vine user -- that you may not have heard of Nash Grier. Grier is the biggest Vine personality with over 8.7 million followers. But after a homophobic video surfaced, just about everyone in the LGBT community knows his name.

In April of this year, Grier posted a video of himself reacting to a commercial for HIV awareness that stated getting tested wasn't a "gay thing" by responding, "yes it is," and screaming a homophobic slur. (See the original Vine here. Warning: Offensive language.)

Grier quickly deleted the video, but recently, YouTube personality Tyler Oakley unearthed it and decided it needed a signal boost. Now, many people and organizations are coming forward in defense of the LGBT community and the misinformation that Grier is putting into the social sphere.

"HIV is not just a gay thing. It's a woman thing, it's an African-American thing, it's a Latino thing -- it's something that affects everyone in every community," Dr. Gary Blick, co-founder of HIV-Equal, said in a statement. "It's time that our youth here in the U.S. wake up and realize that HIV doesn't discriminate -- and neither should they!"

Tyler Curry, the Senior Editor of HIV Equal Online echoed Blick's sentiment.

"Our youth need to be made aware that stigma against a disease or a community of people is not something that we, as a society, will tolerate," Curry said. "Comments like the ones in Mr. Grier's Vine video reinforce this point, and show the need that our youth here in the U.S. still have much to learn when it comes to HIV; and they are the most affected by the disease."

This isn't the first time Grier has upset a specific group. Last year he posted a video telling girls how to change themselves to be more attractive to people like him, basically a guide of what not to do.

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Dennis Hinzmann