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Updated: Aug 19, 2021

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Billy Porter revealed that he is living with HIV. Billy Porter is an Emmy, Tony, and Grammy award-winning actor and singer, known for his portrayal of Pray Tell in the FX series Pose. Pose chronicles the lives of Black and Latinx LGBTQ+ characters as they live through the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s.

Porter was diagnosed with HIV in June 2007. For a long time, Porter did not tell people about his status because he did not want to be stigmatized or judged. He kept his status hidden from most of the people in his life, including his mother. He said that he was able to live his truth through his character on the show, because like him, Pray Tell is also HIV positive. None of his co-workers knew he was drawing his inspiration and exceptional acting from personal experience.

During the COVID-19 quarantine, Porter began to rethink his secrecy, and with the help of his husband and therapy, he told his mother. After telling his mother, who supported his decision, he told his castmates at Pose. He said talking about it freed him.

SisterLove applauds Billy Porter for living in his truth. It is important for people living with HIV to no longer be invisible. It is important to talk about their lives and experiences to do away with the stigma. Living with HIV is no reason for shame.

If you are struggling with a recent HIV+/AIDS or STI infection and are interested in confidential counseling and support services, please call us at (404) 254-4734.

To get tested for HIV and other STIs click here. SisterLove is now providing free and confidential HIV Self-testing kits for you to use in the privacy of your own home. Certified testers will guide you remotely through the process step by step. You can call (404) 254-4734 to schedule your self-test appointment.

To support SisterLove as we work to eradicate the HIV/AIDS stigma click here. For more information on the history and science of living with HIV, visit the Information Library at

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