Jussie Smollett on What People Need to Know About HIV/AIDS

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“Getting tested, knowing your status, being responsible for yourself and other people is so important," says Jussie.

It’s no secret that Jussie Smollett has been a passionate advocate of HIV/AIDS prevention. He along with other cast members joined Lee Daniels at the Human Rights Campaign Gala Saturday night in Los Angeles where Empire was recognized for its “diverse embrace of LGBT visibility.”

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In a conversation with HuffPost Live, Smollett warns against considering HIV/AIDS a problem of the past.

“We get attached to these hashtags and it becomes this social media fad,” he said. “But it’s almost as if HIV/AIDS stopped being the thing to talk about before social media came around. We’ve gotta bring that back because we’re not done.”

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Smollett shares words of optimism for those currently living with HIV/AIDS. “We have to remember that it’s not a death sentence. You can live with it and you can live a beautiful, wonderful life with it, but it’s also something that we can prevent,” he said.

“Getting tested, knowing your status, being responsible for yourself and other people is so important — being honest with yourself, number one, so you can be honest with everyone else,” he instructs.

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He advocates for embracing “our sister and our brothers” who are infected and letting them know “that they are loved.”

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