U=U. Maybe you’ve seen this posted on someone’s dating profile but weren’t sure what it meant. Well you’ve landed in the right spot because we’re excited to share what U=U means and hope you’ll share the good news with your friends! When someone says or writes U=U it means undetectable=untransmittable. Cool, now let’s break that down further with the science.
The science is clear. When a person living with HIV is effectively on treatment and has an undetectable viral load, there is zero risk of HIV being transmitted through sex. Times have changed. And this is great news! The Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance presents a cute and campy glimpse into how advances in treatments for HIV are changing how we have the sex we want.
This video portrays the message of U=U, or undetectable equals untransmittable, and how it is transforming the relationship gay and bisexual men have to HIV, and to each other. The message of U=U, developed by the Prevention Access Campaign, gives an opportunity for gay and bisexual men to embrace a new era in the HIV epidemic.
U=U provides the gay community with the opportunity to reflect upon, and celebrate the successes in, the fight to end HIV, and to focus on the tools we have available to end this epidemic. Key to ending the epidemic is ending HIV stigma. An important way to address stigma is to be informed about the current realities of HIV and HIV related science.
And the science is clear, when a person living with HIV is effectively on treatment and has an undetectable viral load, there is zero risk of HIV being transmitted through sex.
Will: Well, right now I am sitting across from multihyphenate, Charlie David. He does absolutely everything – writes, produces, directs. He’s an amazing narrator. And I wanted to quickly talk about one of his recent projects. Charlie, you have lent your voice to an amazing series by Angel Knots, the “Omega Celibacy Club.”
What did you think when the manuscript for that first book came across your desk?
Charlie: I was excited, nervous. A little bit shocked. A little bit taken aback because I mean, that whole universe building that’s going on around Mpreg, I didn’t know a lot about and I hadn’t narrated, you know, other work like that before.
I think learning the rules, the expectations around the sub genre were, were definitely important for me, but I was excited. I was excited because it’s so whimsical and wonderful and silly and ridiculous, but, you know, at the same time, the characters themselves, everybody they’re living their life. And what they care about and their motivations, they take very, very seriously, which is, I think, you know, imperative to a good story at the same time. So, it’s fun. Like you, like you mentioned, there are a lot of characters, and I never claimed to be a voice actor, you know, a person who can do a bunch of very nuanced, specific voices. I kind of say, I can kind of do a Southern, I can kind of do a British, I can kind of do, you know, an alpha and omega, you know, in timbre for you. But that is the challenging thing in doing voice work is how do I take this story that’s not always written with it becoming an audio book in mind, right?
Like often the writer is there, they’re just writing. Right? And then that’s our job to come in and try and make sure that there’s correct pauses, breaks, inflection, speed, timbre differences. That can be little clues to the, to the listener.
Will: Because the author is primarily thinking of the reader. But you as the narrator need to think about the listener in that particular aspect.
Charlie: And it’s not always as simple as, you know, Jake said, and then Simon replied to flag to the listener. Okay, this is who this is, who’s speaking now. Often, especially as, as you get into an exciting or dynamic scene, people are going back, you know, very quickly without those qualifiers in place.
But it’s super sexy. Like I love, I mean, all these ideas of kind of the, you know, anamorphism that goes on too, with the swelling of a penis inside, and then it stays in there and Oh my God, I need your seed and it’s going to do this and that. And then, you know, all the pregnancy stuff that, you know, these young guys are going through. It’s hilarious and wonderful. And I think it’s a fun exploration as a dude, to go through to read about and to imagine as well, because, I think we all tried to be empathetic with the women in our lives. But reading something like this just kind of helps take it to that next level where you go, Oh my gosh. Like what you do is amazing.
Will: Exactly. Well, from what you’ve just said, I think you seem to be pretty open about the experience. I mean, before, you read Angel Knots’s work had you ever even come across any Mpreg before or was it a completely brand new concept?
Charlie: It wasn’t brand new because let’s see. I think it was about 2015 I did a film. I acted as in a film, a titled “Paternity Leave,” and it’s a comedy by Matt Riddlehoover’s the director and screenwriter of that, and in it, my boyfriend on the one night, we switched sexual positions. A drunken night and he ends up pregnant, and then it’s happening everywhere.
Then suddenly men all over the planet are getting pregnant and we’re trying to figure out what’s going on. So that was really fun and ridiculous as well. I use ridiculous in like the very highest praise, best, best context in both Angel Knots work and, and Matt Riddlehoover, because I think it’s fun. Why not go to these places that are outside the norm.
Will: Exactly. I think specifically when it came to the books and the characters in the “Omega Celibacy Club,” I have the hardest time saying celibacy.
Charlie: I can’t do it either. I tried really hard to try to live it. I tried to say it. I can’t do it.
Will: Exactly. I think what that particular, series has that makes it kind of special is that it has a lighthearted whimsy, but, also there is a kind of an authenticity to the way these young men are trying to make it in the world and live their lives. And, also it’s like a crazy smoking hot.
When it comes to work that has so many different elements to it, how do you tackle something like that? Do you just take it page by page?
Charlie: Yeah, I mean, definitely as I get into the subsequent books, it’s easier to do that because we have a lot of recurring characters and a lot of, you know, I kind of understand the world that’s been built, right?
But at the beginning, I definitely need to do some reading ahead and really like understand what is going on, who are these people. Even the power dynamics, right? Because a lot of gay romance is written in a much more kind of equal partner – we come to either side of the table and decide to get into this.
Not, not everything, right? I don’t want to generalize, but a lot of it is done in that way and in this alpha/Omegaverse there really is, you know, there’s, there’s the alpha, right? And what does that mean? And that it’s, it’s desired and wanted. And it can still be, you know, there can still be equality in a relationship there, but, I think it explores different nuance, in a way that, that maybe isn’t always touched on in, in other gay romance.
Will: Well, Charlie, thank you for sitting down and talking to us about this. I’m so glad that you are here at GRL and experiencing all the wonders that our wacky literary community has to offer.
Charlie: Well, thank you. Thanks for having me again. Really appreciate it. Now, I’ve got to go do my job and make sure the guys in this club are all Mpreg. 😉
Production is underway on season 1 of the new millennial/baby boomer comedy, Avocado Toast the series in Toronto, Ontario. The webseries is set to launch on the digital platform OUTtvGo.com in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, India and South Africa in 2020.
WHAT’S AVOCADO TOAST the series ABOUT?
Ever wonder about your parents’ sex life? Neither did Molly and Elle until coming out and a divorce forces them to learn about their parents’ new sexcapades. When it comes to millennials and baby boomers, these nuts haven’t fallen so far from the family tree.
Avocado Toast the series was created by screenwriters and stars Heidi Lynch and Perrie Voss and will be directed by Sam Coyle (Hazy Little Thing, Darkside, The Definites). OUTtvGO has picked up the Canadian digital rights along with streamers HighballTV, Tello Films (U.S), Outfilm (Poland), and Gray Zone Play (Chile). Charlie David of Border2Border Entertainment is handling global sales for the series produced by subsidiary Guts and Gall Productions Inc.
The 10 x 10-minute sex comedy series is produced by Charlie David, Heidi Lynch and Perrie Voss. Executive producers are Jefferson Mappin along with Brad Danks and Philip Webb from OUTtvGo. Avocado Toast the series is funded with the participation of the Independent Production Fund (IPF) and the Bell Fund.
“A lot of insightful development has gone into Avocado Toast and it is so rewarding for both the producers and the IPF to see that many international buyers have already licensed it. The world will soon see this funny and dynamic Canadian series!” said Andra Sheffer, CEO, Independent Production Fund
“We’re delighted to work with such a talented team to bring this brand-new comedy series to OUTtv audiences across the world,” said Brad Danks, CEO of OUTtv. “Avocado toast explores the awkward and embarrassing topics between millennials and their parents that are so relatable it will have audiences in stitches.”
Rounding out the principal cast with Perrie Voss (The Boys, Handmaid’s Tale, Ghostwriter) and Heidi Lynch (The Drawer Boy, Spinning Out, Covert Affairs Reign) are Faye Marsay (Game of Thrones, Black Mirror, Deep Water) Kristian Bruun (Orphan Black, Carter, Ready or Not), Scott Cavalheiro (Good Witch, Indian Detective, Mary Kills People, Hudson and Rex), Jefferson Mappin (Unforgiven, Warehouse 13, The Colossal Failure of the Modern Relationship), Andrew Moodie (Workin Moms, Orphan Black, Detention Adventure), Nelu Handa (Baroness Von Sketch Show, Workin Moms, Jann, The Beaverton), Brenda Robins (Heartland, Shoot the Messenger, Man Seeking Woman).
Avocado Toast is slated to hit screens in June 2020.