Lil' Wayne’s new ‘How to Love’ video shows how HIV can impact lives

Popular rapper Lil’ Wayne recently debuted an official music video for his single “How to Love.” The video tells the story of a young girl in two alternate life scenarios. In one situation, the girl is born to a physically and emotionally abused mother. As a baby, she watches as her mother’s lovers beat her, grows to see them sentenced to jail, and is even sexually molested herself. In adulthood, she then falls into a life of prostitution. The most disturbing yet brutally realistic scene takes place in a doctor’s office when the young woman receives the news that she is HIV positive. She immediately breaks down, showing the harsh reality of the fatal disease.However, the contrasting universe is then revealed as the girl’s life reel is re-winded and played back. This time, at a young age, she sees her mother choose a different path and marry a man who loves her. The girl follows in her footsteps by making good choices. In the closing scene, the girl is again in a doctor’s office, however, she is now told the obviously joyous news that she is pregnant.The video shows the value of healthy sexual and emotional relationships and the importance of safe sex. In an MTV article, director Chris Robinson explains, “The concept is more a narrative. It’s a story about two paths in someone’s life and how one small choice that you make can affect your whole life.”   We at DAA would like to add the following: Lil' Wayne certainly tackles the tough stuff in his new track 'How to Love'. In his 'choose your own adventure' style clip, a young woman caught up in an abusive relationship is diagnosed HIV positive. However, had she chosen to turn to page 46 instead of 12 she experiences a respectful and healthy relationship... and the video concludes with her doctor happily notifying her that she's pregnant. The message is simple: that we all deserve to have happy and healthy relationships and that's exactly what we should strive for. However, it's important to underline that an abusive partner doesn't equal HIV and vice-versa. Anyone who has unprotected sex with a partner has a chance of contracting HIV.On the whole though, it's great to see snippets of HIV and relationships being raised in popular culture, especially by tough rappers like Lil' Wayne- we hope to see more of it, as we believe this is an important way to inform their fans!