Glee Star Alex Newell Blows The Roof Off In Innovative HIV Prevention Dance Track For The CDC [VIDEO]

An innovative campaign and the song really IS fantastic. Mark King breaks it down at My Fabulous Disease:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has produced a music video that joyfully educates gay men about HIV prevention options. And it is foot-stomping fabulous.

The song, “Collect My Love,” was released by The Knocks and it features vocals by Alex Newell, the young gender-bending singer who rose to fame by stealing season three of the television series, Glee (his rendition of “Boogie Shoes” on that show is a one-way ticket to my happy place).

In the CDC music video released today, Newell performs the song in a crowded, gay-friendly dance club. The atmosphere is ebullient and cruisy, with gay men making connections left and right. That’s where HIV prevention comes in.

As the song progresses, vignettes play out in which couple takes a home HIV test, one man takes his PrEP med, and another discloses his undetectable status to a suitor. Kudos to the CDC for such an inventive campaign. The second “making of” clip below features Newell discussing various HIV prevention options.

  • bkmn

    Great voice.

  • JoeMyGod

    If you’re not familiar with Alex Newell, start here.

  • JoeMyGod

    Alex Newell’s collaboration with Niles Rodgers, which was featured in the HBO show Vinyl, has about 20 million total plays on various platforms. In April, it peaked at #2 on Billboard’s dance chart.

    • Lane

      I like this song (it’s in heavy rotation from one of the VJ’s at SF’s Midnight Sun), but it kills me that it’s basically the opposite of my boyfriend Enrique’s hit Don’t Turn Off the Lights, because I’m _totally_ keeping ’em on.

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    • guyserallen

      Actually Number 1 on club play, the only chart that matters.

  • Lars De

    Love his EP, love the single “Kill The Lights” from the “Vinyl” soundtrack, and love this too. Alex is a delight to watch and listen to.

  • JoeMyGod

    This track was also a hit earlier this year.

  • Dot Beech

    What was the message we were supposed to get from the two young men swabbing their mouths for the not-wholly-accurate HIV saliva test?

    With their shirts already off and the smooch that followed the reading of the test results, it didn’t seem the message was at all related to going to a doctor to get an authoritative combination antibody/antigen test.

    • Capritaur

      The video shows multiple strategies that all contribute to HIV prevention: protect, inform, disclose. None of the strategies is foolproof, PrEP and condom have a non-negligible failure rate ranging from 1 to perhaps as high as 8%, saliva test has a 8-9% false negative rate, and non-detectable individuals may still infect other people. Even with antibody/antigen test, it is limited by the testing window during which patients may show false negative and is infectious. For people who do not know their own status, saliva test provides a concrete protection which can be reinforced if combined with other methods. I see absolutely nothing wrong with it.

      • ChrisMorley

        What’s wrong with it is that it is simplistic, as your comments reveal, but doesn’t tell men where to find out more.
        After searching here’s the campaign page

        • Capritaur

          Never underestimate how little people know about anything. If anyone is influenced by the video to adopt any of the measures, even without fully understanding it, it will lead to better HIV prevention.

          • ChrisMorley

            And some will feel let down when they are diagnosed and told, sorry, saliva tests aren’t reliable.

            FYI I worked in UK community HIV policy and prevention practice for years. I’ve given multiple conference presentations.

          • Capritaur

            Unfortunately, in the United States, where public health resources are severely limited, a general public that has a short attention span, and sex education for a large portion of the population consists of only abstinence, we need to adopt different strategies to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. For people who are interested in learning more, there is plenty of easily accessible information, but one needs to take the initiative to find them. But when we’re looking at containing an epidemic as a matter of public health, the bigger picture cannot be concerned with people who may feel “let down” because their chosen method of prevention is not 100% effective. It’s a number’s game, and we need effective health campaign tools that reduce the population parameters below a certain threshold to achieve containment, only then can we talk about eradication.

      • Dot Beech

        Absolutely nothing? Really? Using your numbers, with an 8-9% false negative rate, the saliva test might be best as an initial screening tool. It will quickly and easily identify a number of people who are HIV+ who were unaware of that fact. They can be guided into medical care. That’s all great for the individual and for the public health. Used that way, the saliva test is valuable, if not perfect. But we know that test also returns false negative results, not correctly identifying everyone who is positive.

        The video seems to be suggesting that if your oral test result is HIV-, everything is good and you can now go fuck your boyfriend with abandon. Since there are known problems with the saliva test, that’s not a good use for the test, nor is it a valid conclusion, nor is it good advice for sexually active people.

        • Capritaur

          The video shows several different measures of prevention, I don’t think at any point it says that “if your oral test result is HIV-, everything is good and you can now go fuck your boyfriend with abandon.” The people in the video are making informed decisions, it doesn’t mean they don’t understand the inherent risks with sex that cannot be done away with by any method.

          • Dot Beech

            Then we disagree about that message. The vignette of the boys taking the oral test doesn’t really show an informed decision being made. It shows two young men using the test for a purpose to which it is not best suited.

  • Bill Post

    Can’t keep my eyes off the latino bear in the background

  • Michael R

    Could it be described as ” Mighty Real ” ?

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      LOL, we just played that last weekend

    • Lakeview Bob

      I never get tired of watching that video. Except for the tacky faux fly girls

    • glass

      How funny that you posted that. I was just thinking that Alex’s song was very 70’s meets 90’s.
      One of my favorite albums is The 12 x 12 collection by Sylvester.

  • penpal


  • Blake Jordan


    Guess were the #trumpwon Twitter trend started…

  • Todd
  • Lakeview Bob

    When can she be officially called a DIVA? Love her.

  • DaddyRay

    One of my favorite performance from Alex Newell

  • anthonyellero

    This is a great song -the original version was issued in 2015 and was on his EP released last year

  • JCF

    This is the one (Alex and a Trans chorus on GLEE)

    • Rocco

      Very nice.

  • karmanot

    For some reason…burst into tears.. Way too much history I suppose.

    • Rocco

      Me too, thanks for posting, I didn’t get it at first. I could never see The Quilt for the same reason.