During a conversation with People Magazine earlier this week, Laverne Cox, the transgender star of Orange Is The New Black, said to reporters that she thought it was “insane” that people out there are dying from AIDS regularly in spite of its preventability.
For that reason, Cox chose to partner up with the organization, Band-Aid and Red, to fight the disease that kills hundreds of thousands of people around the world every year. “It’s intense that in 2019,” Cox began, “AIDS is still an issue in a lot of parts of the world.”
However, the most “insane” part of all is the fact that AIDS is preventable. Speaking from her life experiences, the Orange Is The New Black star admitted the disease has existed throughout her life for years, albeit indirectly.
When Laverne was a young child, she witnessed two different people become HIV-positive and subsequently die. The individuals were close friends of her mother.
Additionally, Laverne told the story of the time she was working in a New York City coffee shop, and a close friend she had met there had contracted the disease and slowly died before her eyes, an experience which the actress described as “insanely traumatizing.”
Laverne added that she knows many people who are living with the illness, and knows those who have lost the battle with the disease as well. According to the actress, there still exists a lot of stigma surrounding AIDS.
Cox said to the outlet that there were moments in the past where she asked herself if she was the next one to contract the debilitating illness and die. “Am I next?” the actress asked. Despite the fact Laverne has never contracted HIV or AIDS, the actress explained it was very important for others to talk about it for the sake of eliminating the stigma around the subject.
Furthermore, explained that many people assume she is HIV-positive on account of her transgender status. She claimed it was all part of the minute ideas and concepts that we internalize and accept as our reality.