“There are subjects which we don’t discuss,
Words that we don’t say.
But we need to talk about a word
That starts with ‘d,’
And ends with ‘i-a-r-r-h-e-a’…
So begins “Let’s Talk About (Surprise) Diarrhea,” an original song at the heart of Napo Pharmaceuticals’ “Surprise Diarrhea Lip-Syncing and Singing Contest,” launched Wednesday to mark National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
Chronic and surprise diarrhea is a “common condition among people living with HIV that is rarely talked about,” wrote Lisa A. Conte, president and chief executive officer of Napo parent Jupiter Health, in an email.
The contest, designed to generate awareness of the condition, will run through Nov. 1 when a live finale will be streamed.
Individuals or choruses can enter the contest by posting an Instagram or TikTok video of them either lip-syncing or singing the song, along with tags #SurpriseDiarrhea and @surprisediarrheacontest. For duet lip-syncing purposes, a dedicated contest page at LetsTalkAboutDiarrhea.com features a video of the song as sung by Grammy winning actress Jenn Colella (“Dear Evan Hansen’).
Jupiter/Napa has pledged to donate $100 for every individual or chorus that posts an entry, up to $10,000 (or 100 entrants), to Let’s Kick ASS – AIDS Survivor Syndrome, a nonprofit serving long-term HIV survivors.
Surprise diarrhea “is rarely talked about let alone sung about,” Tez Anderson, founder of Let's Kick ASS, said in a press release.
The contest will run in two phases. In phase 1, 10 individuals and 10 choruses will win based on numbers of likes and shares they've received. Those winners can them participate in phase 2 by posting a video of another original song.
Three individual and three chorus winners will then be judged by a panel that includes queer health expert and gastroenterologist Dr. Carlton Thomas,
Numerous prizes include up to $1,000 prizes in cash, bidet toilet attachments, and donations of up to $5,000 to nonprofits chosen by the winners.
Jupiter/Napo says that an estimated 50% of people living with HIV in the U.S. are now long-term survivors, having lived with the disease for 10 years or more -- and an estimated 87% of them have experienced chronic diarrhea.
Jupiter says that Napo Pharmaceuticals “focuses on developing and commercializing human prescription pharmaceuticals for essential supportive care and management of neglected gastrointestinal symptoms across multiple complicated disease states.”