Research suggests young Americans live this scene at higher rates in 2012 -- about 30 years after America itself struggled to come to terms with it.
Featured in the video is Kelly, a 25-year-old Californian who tested positive at 23 years old. She's dating Aaron, who is HIV negative. MTV's "Its Your (Sex) Life" blog says they moved quickly into a relationship that's grown increasingly rocky. The next step is breaking up or staying together.
The hour-long special debutes on Dec. 1 at 7:00 E.S.T.-- World AIDS Day -- and follows two other individuals, who combine to represent what producers consider a representative cross-section of American youth with the disease.
While young viewers between the ages 13 and 24 are likely to bite their nails through the first 50 seconds of clip, they're also less likely to know they're infected -- 50 percent in this age group are aware of their status -- and make up 26 percent of all new HIV infections, according to the Center For Disease Control And Prevention.
Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC's director, told reporters earlier this week, "Given everything we know about HIV and how to prevent it in 30 years of fighting the disease, it's just unacceptable that young people are becoming infected at such high rates."
He said 1,000 young people in America become infected with HIV, an incurable infection that costs $400,000 to treat over a lifetime, each month. If left untreated, HIV infection leads to AIDS and early death.
6:00 AM: Chicago. Hospital Corpsman Second Class Le’Mikas Lavender, U.S Navy: Getting ready to man the watch.
7:58 AM: Chicago Kevin Irvine: “Dropping my daughter off at school. She loves first grade, but not smiling on cue for a picture! When I came to terms with having HIV 23 years ago, I thought I would never have the chance to be a dad.”
8:15 AM: Ankeny, Iowa. David was born three and a half months premature, weighing two pounds with an HIV viral load of 525,000. “Yes, he is a MIRACLE. He was separated from three siblings who were negative. Their adoptive family didn't want David, because he was positive. His picture says it all. He is my HERO, and at three years old, David has started touching the lives of many. He now has a viral load of 54, and the spirit of an angel. He has taught me and many others valuable lessons already, and I am very, very grateful I was chosen to be his Daddy!” says his adoptive dad, Brian Walker.
10:15 AM: San Francisco, California. David Duran practices his daddy skills with his best friend’s son at the beach: “Today is just like any other day. I’m living my life and enjoying spending time with my loved ones. One day soon, I hope to have a child, and raise him or her in a world without HIV or the stigma that surrounds it.”
11:00 AM: Virginia. Melissa: “Pop my morning Isentress (raltegravir) and head up to the mountains to pick my angel’s first apples. Just another day with HIV.”
11:00 AM: London, England. Garry Brough: “I'm the admin/moderator for the UK's largest network of people with HIV—myHIV.org.uk. Having lived with HIV for over 20 years, I am proud to wear the t-shirt. Every day is a day with HIV, in both my work and personal life. Mostly, they are good days with HIV these days, thankfully.”
1:30 PM: Chicago. Cynthia Holmes: “This is me at my day job as a phone counselor in Chicago, helping people through crises and connecting them to support services. I am HIV-negative, and believe in fighting the disease, promoting prevention, and supporting those affected. I did HIV education in South Africa, safe sex education in online chat rooms, and volunteer with queer at-risk youth. I want to help!”
2:30 PM: New York City. Gustavo Gimenez: “I work in an allergy lab. At today’s meeting, we went over a case presentation of a patient with a complicated drug allergy. Unfortunately, his treatment options were further complicated because he had vertically transmitted HIV. I wanted to show in this picture that this anonymous case became personal, and that it struck a nerve. While I may never know who this patient is, I would like to wish him the best and show that I care.”
2:45 PM: Queenstown, New Zealand. Australian Olympic medalist Ji Wallace: “This photo was taken during some down time while we are on a work trip. I am with my boyfriend, Shaun Baldwin. Queenstown is known as the adrenaline capital of the southern hemisphere so we decided to go up the mountain on the gondolas for mountain luging. I won. In the picture, I am on the left and I am positive. We live in a loving, happy, and healthy serodiscordant relationship.”
:00 PM: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Debra Fehr: “My HIV-negative partner Victor and me, enjoying a beautiful day in our front yard. We’ve been together eight years. It just keeps getting better!”
Desmond Tutu AIDS Foundation
3:30 PM: Cape Town, South Africa. The staff of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, who are working hard on a microbicide trial, take time to celebrate cultural diversity at an event honoring the volunteers who take part in clinical trials.
5:15 PM: New York City. Lee Raines: “Under the ‘How to Survive a Plague’ marquee at the IFC Center in New York City with my friends Rita and Jeff. I’m the guy wearing the ‘HIV POSITIVE’ t-shirt. With gratitude to my comrades, my sisters and brothers in ACT UP, and the AIDS activist movement, who taught me how to survive a plague.”