When Camila fell in love with her high school classmate Henrique, she didn’t know he was born with HIV. It was only after an incident at school that his HIV status was revealed to everyone. She then made an informed decision to take his side and live their love story together facing the challenges imposed by stigma and discrimination among friends and family.
Their love story was one of the main plots of the 2015–2016 season of the teen soap opera Malhação—Seu Lugar No Mundo (Malhação—Your Place in the World), from author Emanuel Jacobina. The serodiscordant couple interpreted by actors Thales Cavalcanti (Henrique) and Manuela Llerena (Camila) became some of the most loved characters of the season, which counted on the consultancy support of UNAIDS for the zero discrimination and HIV-related scenes.
Success among fans was such that the couple #Camique won a spin-off web series on Globo’s online entertainment platform Gshow called Eu Só Quero Amar (Young Hearts—I Just Want to Love). The five-episode web series soon became a bit hit—from April to June 2016, it was the third most watched original series on the platform, with almost 1 million views. On 16 October 2017, it was nominated for the Emmy Kids 2017 in the digital category.
The project is a result of an effort to get HIV back on the agenda for young people in Brazil. For that, UNAIDS teamed up with Globo’s social responsibility branch and worked with Mr Jacobina and writers Filipe Lisboa and Giovana Moraes to tailor HIV and zero discrimination messages to a young audience. In the spin-off production, the serodiscordant couple from fiction are invited to be part of a web documentary, alongside real serodiscordant couples, talking about their relationships, sexuality and the impact of HIV in their daily lives.
“The message and the narrative of today’s HIV epidemic have to be adapted to young people,” explains Georgiana Braga-Orillard, UNAIDS Country Director in Brazil. “The web series managed to capture the essence of this communication.” Read more via UNAIDS