In honor of National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Mykki Blanco released today a music video for his Jeremiah Meece-produced single, "Hideaway." The track, which appears on Blanco's debut full-length album, Mykki, sees the queer artist reflecting on his personal five-year-long experience living with HIV. In 2015, Blanco publicly announced he's been positive since 2011, the very beginning of his music career. "Fuck stigma and hiding in the dark," he wrote on Facebook, anticipating the news would ruin his career. "This is my real life."
The Daisy Zhou-directed video, produced in collaboration with W Magazine, creates a darkly romantic bedroom scene inspired by Blanco's "Hideaway" lyrics, which center on a couple—one HIV-positive and one negative. Together, they're hiding away from the truth, blindly dancing around romance and ultimately destroying their relationship. In the visual, Blanco swirls around the couple as an invisible spectator, before ultimately turning off the bedroom light—a metaphor for what happens when HIV stigma isn't normalized.
"When we choose to stigmatize those living with HIV, we do a disservice to our own community," Blanco says during the video's intro. "As someone who has lived healthily with the disease for almost 5 years now, I know all too well the fear of persecution and shame, and what that can do to one's character and life. Love and happiness, compassion—they're birthrights of the human condition. 37 million people live with HIV deserve that just like anyone else."
Watch Mykki Blanco's "Hideaway" video, below, and learn more about National Youth HIV/Aids Awareness Day, here.