HIV= Wants to Destigmatize HIV Status
HIV Equal is a national multimedia campaign that aims to end HIV stigma and promote HIV testing by creating a social art movement that changes the way people think about HIV and which reopens the national dialogue about HIV.
A new campaign believes the time for ending any lingering stigma attached to HIV/AIDS and HIV testing is over, and HIV Equal is a new social media anti-stigma campaign to make it so.
The concept of HIV Equal was created by Jack Mackenroth, a long time HIV activist and Project Runway alumnus, and celebrity photographer, Thomas Evans. The campaign photos include people from all walks of life who support the concept that regardless of one’s HIV status, we are all equally valuable. To help promote HIV testing, every person who takes part in the campaign will also be tested for HIV. As the campaign grows, this will help take the fear out of HIV testing. And as young people see their role models in the photos, they will want to become a part of the HIV Equal movement, as well.
Heading up the testing portion of the campaign is Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Gary Blick, who understands the urgency of outreach especially to the younger generations.
“It’s crucial to restart the national dialogue about HIV and HIV testing since the recent
CDC statistics suggest that the younger generations are the most vulnerable when it comes
to new HIV infections. Data from 2010 sites that over 90% of new HIV infections are found
in young men ages 13-34. HIV Equal appeals directly to that demographic. We’re bringing
awareness of HIV and HIV testing to the forefront, and smashing the stigma associated with
HIV. The message of HIV Equal is that it is vital that we all know our HIV status but that we
should not be judged because of it.” – Dr. Gary Blick
Gay celebrities and other allies are showing up on the campaign’s Instagram account. Check out more about the campaign here and below is a sampling of the photos that have been taken as part of the campaign.