In order to amplify the pro-PrEP message on social media, the City of West Hollywood has joined with Todrick Hall to produce a catchy music video, Hakuna Truvada, as a Public Service Announcement, which was released on Todrick Hall’s YouTube channel. The campaign is part of the City of West Hollywood’s “Let’s get to zero together” — the City is currently working on an HIV Zero Transmission strategic plan in collaboration with HIV and Substance Abuse Treatment service provider partners.
“I have been an eyewitness to the AIDS epidemic from the very beginning. I believe that PrEP is part of the beginning of the end of the epidemic,” said City of West Hollywood Councilmember John J. Duran. “Thirty years ago we prayed for a medication that would prevent transmission. It is here.”
The peppy PrEP PSA, Hakuna Truvada, was produced and conceived by YouTube sensation Todrick Hall, a singer, actor, director, choreographer, and dancer who rose to the semi-finals of American Idol in its ninth season. He received international acclaim for his creative role in the CLIO Award-winning safety video for Virgin America airlines. His YouTube channel, with more than 2.1-million followers, features his music-inspired projects, including past PSAs with the City of West Hollywood, such as Alice in WeHoLand to encourage pedestrian safety and Pretty Boysto promote voting and public participation.
Hakuna Truvada is a fun and lyrical West Hollywood-themed parody of Elton John’s and Tim Rice’s Oscar-nominated mega-hit song Hakuna Matata, which is featured on the score and soundtrack of Disney’s The Lion King based on the Swahili phrase that roughly translates to “no worries.” In the PSA video, dancers are adorned in wild-animal prints as they dance and prance in West Hollywood’s own jungles and plains in a jaunty West Hollywood-style twist of the famous scene from The Lion King — the characters sashay as a group to the Los Angeles LGBT Center WeHo for a health checkup and a PrEP prescription. Nearly two dozen dancers, models, and actors appear as characters in Hakuna Truvada, including Kory DeSoto as Timon; Daniel Franzese as Pumba; Todrick Hall as Simba; Willam Belli as sexy nurse, and Tre Melvin as healthcare assistant.
“When you look at the statistics and see that 1 in 4 new HIV infections each year occurs in those aged 13-24, it’s evident that young people aren’t paying attention to traditional methods of education about HIV,” said Joel Goldman, Managing Director of The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. “This PSA is a brilliant concept from the City of West Hollywood and Todrick Hall to break through the clutter and reach young people with really important information about HIV prevention. ETAF is thrilled to support initiatives like this.”
Source: This article was partially taken from The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation