‘Real World’ Alum Karamo Brown & HIV Advocate Deondre Moore Talk Being Positively Fearless About Fighting HIV Stigma

Karamo Brown

Karamo Brown/Photo: Jerris madison

Karamo Brown is tired of the shade.

It’s been 12 years since The Real World: Philadelphia alum made his television debut as the first openly gay Black man on reality TV.

And not much has changed regarding the stigma associated with African Americans in the LGBTQ community, he tells BlackDoctor.org.

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One major stigma being this assumption, he continues, that if you’re a gay or bisexual Black man, it’s inevitable that you’ll contract HIV.

“Yes, I have dated men who are HIV-positive, proudly and openly. People associate me and say that I have HIV. They start to want to shade me,” says Brown, who is HIV-negative. “If someone wants to assume that I’m HIV-positive or whatever, it doesn’t take away from the love that I have and me supporting another brother.”

That’s why Brown is on a mission to change the narrative and empower the gay and bisexual community through the Positively Fearless campaign; a partnership with pharmaceutical company Janssen.

Positively Fearless is a celebration of being Black, gay and even HIV-positive. Brown, who is speaking at Atlanta’s 10th annual Black Pride Celebration, is encouraging people to get tested and for those who are HIV-positive to live in their truth by seeking treatment and being proactive in their health.

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“Just growing up around Black men and the majority of my best friends being Black men, I notice the conversation and the way we interact in discussing how we’re feeling. It’s as if we can’t express that,” Brown says. “It’s fine to be transparent. It doesn’t take away from your masculinity. For me, who dates gay men, it makes you sexier.”