Daniel’s HIV story: Described video
(Live action testimonial video featuring a man in a wheelchair called Daniel.)
(Opening music playing.)
(Wide shot of Daniel staring out towards a large body of water.)
U = U, it’s kind of changed everything. As long as I take my medication, I’m gonna live a long life, a long healthy life.
(Cut to medium shot of Daniel in his living room speaking directly to camera.)
My name is Daniel. I’m two spirit. I’m living with HIV.
(Montage of Daniel outside in a park, then inside in his home speaking directly to camera and seen watering his plants.)
Text on screen: The only way to know your status is to get tested.
In 2015, I was homeless, sleeping outside in Beacon Hill Park and I was getting sick, and just feeling really kind of flu-like symptoms that kind of went on and on. And I went to a street nurse and got tested, and then a week later she found me again and said, “You’re positive for HIV” and they also said, “You have cancer.” I was devastated. Felt like a death sentence at the time.
(Cut to a medium shot of a woman in a home, speaking to camera followed by a montage of a series of shots of the woman and Daniel holding hands and drinking tea in their home.)
My name is Yvonne and I’m Daniel’s mum. We spent a lot of time crying together, just being together, just trying to understand what was happening. Now, being on the other side of that struggle, I think his life is the best it’s ever been. He has a future.
(Montage of various shots of Daniel enjoying the outdoors.)
After chemo and radiation, I developed asthma, so having a chair just helps me get around and have a full day. I’m not gonna be in a wheelchair forever.
(Montage of various camera angles of Daniel in his home, performing an Indigenous smudging ceremony.)
Text on screen: U = U (undetectable = untransmittable)
My cancer’s in remission and the HIV is undetectable right now. U = U is undetectable equals untransmittable, so as long as I stay on that medication, there’s not enough viable virus for a positive reaction in a test.
(Montage of various shots of Daniel and his mother moving and talking in an urban neighbourhood setting.)
Text on screen: Treatment prevents the transmission of HIV.
Kind of destigmatizing myself and learning the actual medical facts about it, really changed everything. I have a chronic manageable illness just like someone with diabetes—take your medication every day and you’re good.
(Cut back to Daniel’s mother speaking directly to camera.)
I don’t worry about day-to-day, that he’s gonna be alright. I know he’s gonna be alright.
(Close up of Daniel holding a picture of his younger self with 2 other men.)
My family’s a big support. I think the more I can share with them...
(Back to montage of Daniel and his mother moving outdoors in a park setting.)
Text on screen: People with HIV on treatment can live long and healthy lives.
...and the more confident I am and the more I learn, the more I can reassure them that I’m going to live a long, healthy life.
(Cut to a montage of various camera angles, of Daniel and his mother interacting with baby goats.)
When I’m having a bad day, nature takes me out of myself. There’s always lessons to be learned in animals and plants. I’ve always had this deep connection with any living thing.
(Back to montage of Daniel in his home performing the Indigenous smudging ceremony and Daniel speaking directly to camera.)
Really reconnecting with my indigenous heritage, delving into that and really exploring that has been huge for me. There’s so many opportunities that I never thought I could, never thought I would have or never thought I was worth having, and, yeah, I’m really excited.
(Cut to Daniel at his place of work.)
Right now, I’m working at the first organization that really helped me find peers and get together with folks and get a handle on the whole diagnosis.
(Final montage of Daniel moving through a small field.)
My path now is to use my lived experience to help others.
(Cut back to Daniel at home speaking directly to camera and ending with shot of him outdoors staring out to a large body of water.)
Saying like, “I’ve lived through cancer, I’m living with HIV, I’ve been homeless, I’ve had substance issues, I’m gay, I’m two spirit, and I’m okay, I’m doing awesome”, right, and someone else can do awesome too. So I want to use my lived experience to help people.
Text on screen: Get the facts about HIV. Together, let’s stop stigma. Visit Canada.ca/hiv.
A message from the Government of Canada.
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