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A Sweet, Gay, Serodiscordant Spin Class Proposal

Spin Class Proposal
Keller (center) and Marinelli (right) with family and friends.

This mixed-status couple becomes a social media sensation and uses platform to talk about marriage, gay rights, and HIV.

Unless you have been living under a social media rock, chances are you have seen the spin class flash mob proposal that took the Internet by storm. In less than 24 hours, the marriage proposal of Adam Keller and Jared Marinelli, now known as #TeamJadam, racked up over 3 million views. Their engagement, however, was not the only source of inspiration to come out of the spin class couple, because Keller and Marinelli are also a public example of a mixed HIV-status relationship.  

On Valentine's Day, JoyRide spin instructor Keller surprised his boyfriend and fellow JoyRide instructor, Marinelli, when Marinelli’s class burst out into a top-secret, choreographed wedding proposal. With Keller on a bike front and center, everyone appeared to be cycling as usual. But, when Marinelli began the warm-up, the music suddenly changed and the cyclists stepped off their bikes and started to move in formation. Soon enough, Marinelli’s family and friends began to fill the room and he started connecting the dots. With not a dry eye in the room, Keller finally broke from the crowd and approached Marinelli. Keller was equal parts emotional and out-of-breath, but he managed to eventually find the words and ask the big question. Marinelli, while laughing and crying, emphatically said yes. 

#TeamJadam became a certified overnight sensation. Just days later, the two decided to do something useful with the spotlight by revealing to Plus that they are in serodiscordant couple. The pair had asked their friend to write about how they became a couple, including the point when Marinelli was crushing on Keller but afraid to reveal his HIV-positive status.

The story goes like this. Keller came into JoyRide looking for a job and Marinelli was instantly smitten. Marinelli gushed over the new instructor to his friend, HIV-positive artist Jonathan Joseph Ganjian, but also sharing his reservations about revealing his own status. Ganjian assured Marinelli that if Keller was the right guy, he would not be deterred by something like HIV.

Keller was not only receptive to dating a person with HIV; he also began actively seeking out information and advice; which ultimately led him to begin taking PrEP. In fact, it was Keller’s idea to become a more vocal supporter of his HIV-positive fiancé and to speak out against the HIV stigma that he has noticed in the LGBT community. 

“PrEP lifted a huge weight off our shoulders as far as making sure we’re doing everything we can to protect ourselves — I want to share that too,” Keller said. “I think we’re just two guys in love who won’t let something like status stand in the way.” #TeamJadam is now planning their spring or fall 2017 wedding in Connecticut.

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