Troye Sivan fights HIV stigma in first big film role

Pop singer Troye Sivan wants his first major film role to combat ignorance around HIV/AIDS, Channel24 reports.

In Three Months, Sivan, whose YouTube videos and music have inspired a generation of young LGBTQ+ people, plays 17-year-old Caleb, who is exposed to HIV after a one-night stand on the eve of his high school graduation, according to the report.

The film details the shame and anxiety Caleb experiences while waiting three months for diagnosis. Current medical guidelines require 12 weeks from exposure to be 100% certain.

Set in 2011, when a positive diagnosis was no longer a death sentence but fear and ignorance remained rife, the film explores the lingering stigma.

“I think there’s a lot of, not necessarily misinformation, but a lot of kind of ignorance (around HIV),” Sivan told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a video call from Los Angeles.

“I would love it if this movie plays a part in getting rid of the stigma around HIV and educates people on the fact that with access to healthcare, this is not a death sentence at all anymore.”

The 26-year-old star rose to prominence after joining YouTube in 2007, coming out as gay in 2013 and becoming known for his music, personable nature and collaborations with other YouTubers. He now has more than 7.5 million subscribers.

Sivan released his debut album Blue Neighbourhood in 2015 with his second, Bloom, in 2018 peaking at No. 4 on the U.S. album chart. He is one of the most streamed artists of all time on Spotify (Top 200) with more than 5 billion total streams.

Sivan has had smaller roles in South African teen drama Spud and Hollywood blockbuster X-Men.

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