Marvelyn Brown

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Marvelyn Brown
Born (1984-05-07) May 7, 1984 (age 30)
Nashville, Tennessee
Occupation Writer / Activist

Marvelyn Brown (born May 7, 1984 in Nashville, Tennessee, is an African-American author and AIDS activist whose autobiographical book (The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful and (HIV) Positive[1]) tells her story as a young heterosexual woman contracting HIV/AIDS at the young age of 19. A former top track and basketball athlete, she was in the best shape of her life, but found herself suddenly battling an unknown illness in an intensive-care unit. Doctors had no idea what was going on, and it never occurred to Brown that she might be HIV positive.

Brown’s tale has had quite an impact on the AIDS community, and the world, as she travels telling her story trying to make more people aware of the continuing growth of the AIDS pandemic.

Press Conference at CUNY's CCNY[edit]

On September 23, 2010, Marvelyn Brown held a press conference at the City College of New York. The author of “Naked Truth” informed college students about the dangers of unprotected sex and the relationship with her illness. She contracted HIV from her boyfriend in 2003 and was forced to accommodate to a new lifestyle.[2] Brown said, “In my mind, I didn’t wanna believe it. Everyday I think about that decision I made when I was 19 years old.”

When it comes to her treatment, she discussed how her tablets often give her unpleasant side effects. From nausea to headaches to diarrhea, the symptoms never cease to cause discomfort. She admitted that in a single day, she had to take 42 pills. Her average intake is eight pills a day, though.[3] The author said that her sickness is like “having a baby” because there is no vacation while taking medication.

However, her sorrow turned into hope when she almost experienced a car accident. The incident made her regain faith in God again. She no longer wished for death, and was able to find meaning in her life. Although she constantly travels, she finds time to thank God whenever possible.

In the Media[edit]

Her book and work as an HIV/AIDS activist has resulted in Brown having had extensive radio and television appearances. She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, America's Next Top Model, CNN, MTV, BET, and The Tavis Smiley Show.[4][5][6] She has also appeared in Newsweek,[7] Ebony Magazine,[8] and Real Health magazines.[9] Her public-service announcement for Think MTV won an Emmy Award.[10] Marvelyn Brown continues to write and has dedicated her life to HIV/AIDS awareness. Brown was named one of the Top 25 Heroes of the past twenty-five years of the AIDS epidemic (other noted AIDS activist included on this list are Alicia Keys, Magic Johnson and Phill Wilson[11]).


Brown hopes to convert her memoir into a movie someday. For now, she jokes she will produce a sequel to her book in the future: “The Naked Truth: Wife, Mother, and Still HIV Positive.”[12]

Marvelyn Brown currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.


  1. ^ Brown, Marvelyn. "The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful, and (HIV) Positive by Marvelyn Brown, Courtney Martin". Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "A Young Woman's Battle With HIV – US News and World Report". August 20, 2008. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  5. ^ "CNN PRESENTS – Black in America". Archived from the original on September 6, 2012. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ "Battling a Black Epidemic – The Daily Beast". Newsweek. May 14, 2006. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Marvelyn Brown". POZ. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  10. ^ Posted 9/12/07 (September 12, 2007). "Marvelyn Brown PSA | Video". MTV. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Public Education Partnerships: BET: PSAs – Kaiser Family Foundation". July 8, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  12. ^ CUNY CCNY Press Conference on September 23, 2010
  • [3] amfAR (American Foundation for AIDS Research) PDF on Marvelyn Brown

External links[edit]

  • [4]
  • [5] POZ and Real Health magazines
  • [6] Kaiser Family Foundation