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“How to Get Away With Murder” actor on character being HIV-positive: “People have demanded it be rewritten”

When the characters of Oliver and Connor were tested for HIV in the season finale of ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder, it seemed like only the promiscuous Connor (played by Jack Falahee) had a real chance of testing positive.

But there was a surprise twist.

Connor was not infected but his computer nerd boyfriend Oliver was.

“People have demanded it be rewritten,’ actor Conrad Ricamora, who plays Oliver, tells HIV Plus Magazine.

‘Some people are really, really heartbroken and sad. People come up to me and tell me all the time, “Oh! I cried so much when I found out!” Just a lot of sad people, because, I guess, everybody loves Oliver.’

Ricamora’s reaction to tackling the new dimension of the role is far different.

‘It’s a huge honor to be able to bring this back into the consciousness,’ he says. ‘I remember growing up in the ’90s, it was such a big educational topic.… [But] in the last couple of years, it’s slid out of the consciousness of mainstream America.’

The actor adds that it’s ‘good to remember that this still can happen—it still does happen—and just to be aware and let people know that safe sex still matters.’

Ricamora thinks that it’s unhealthy that so many people in the US are afraid to talk about sex in general.

‘C’mon, people are having sex! Why not make it something that’s comfortable to talk about…or be uncomfortable, but still talk about it? Because there are consequences—whether it’s getting pregnant or whether it’s getting an STD—that can go along with sex that can either be prevented or planned for.

‘If sex is continually regarded as a taboo in this country, then that means more people are going to make less smart decisions.’

FILE UNDER: HIV-AIDS, Television

Comments

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3 Remarks

  1. as an openly hiv positivez film director (openly gay too) I really loved the fact that this show deals with this situation.

    apart from initially I have not been crippled by this foul virus, although my ex friends are ex because the idiots want it to

    a define me IT DOES NOT
    b end me IT DID NOT

    mean that I have to slow and compromise YEAH RIGHT

    I am married. And my partner is hiv negative.

    I recently made a short film on super eight in a day and making three feature films this year and guess what I run my own film company
    http://www.joanproductions.com

  2. The storyline is brilliant because most of us know a sweet guy like Oliver who has HIV. It hurts more when it’s the sincere man looking for love and trusting the man he had unprotected sexual with to be “the one’” he’ll live happily ever after with, and the next one, and maybe the next one because he falls in love completely–if only for one night.

    I just love Shonda Rhimes!

  3. Damn Brian Skeet successful much??? You make me want to get out into the world and live a better life then I have been, sitting in my house all day doing absolutely nothing. Man you are so inspirational and through your film work you are telling a story and changing people’s lives that view that story. You are such a great role model, your husband is a lucky man.

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