FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION
22nd November 2017
SHARING THE JOURNEY TO END HIV
Despite living happy and healthy lives, the stigma of HIV continues. HIV positive people often need to hide their status from friends, family and workplaces, for fear of discrimination.
HIV Positive West Australians have combined with the Western Australian AIDS Council to combat the stigma surrounding the virus, in the lead up to World AIDS Day on December 1st.
Six local Perth residents are involved an advertising campaign that challenges the general public’s notion of HIV.
The campaign is called Sharing the Journey, and will appear across billboards, newspapers and social media across November and December, starting today, November 13.
Mark Reid, one of the six participants, said the virus has become a cultural and emotional issue for the positive community, now that effective treatment has diminished the medical concerns. “Those of us who know our HIV status and are on treatment, are just as healthy as the next person, but it is the stigma surrounding HIV that can be a real challenge.
“By being involved in this campaign, we can humanise HIV, and hopefully take away some of the fear and myths surrounding it.
“It speaks volumes that some of my friends felt they couldn’t be part of this campaign, because of the possible consequences. In 2017, that sort of thing has been going on for far too long.”
The campaign follows on from a documentary, also called Sharing the Journey, released earlier this year, that describes the impact of HIV on a group of West Australians.
Health Minister Roger Cook MLA, will officially launch World AIDS Awareness Week at the WA AIDS Council premises on November 27th at 10:30am.
For media comment, please contact:
HIV Positive Peer Educator
WA AIDS Council
Ph | 9482 0000
Email | firstname.lastname@example.org
About World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year. It raises awareness across the world and in the community about the issues surrounding HIV and AIDS. It is a day for people to show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.
About the WA AIDS Council
The WA AIDS Council is a non-government organisation committed to the HIV response in Western Australia. Established in 1985, the Council leads the Western Australian community in the provision of a wide range of services in the prevention of HIV, sexually transmitted infections and blood borne viruses, and the treatment and care of people living with HIV and AIDS.
About HIV in WA
HIV notifications in Western Australia remain steady, and are predominantly among men, with an equal number of homosexual and heterosexual men acquiring the virus. To the end of September 2017, WA had seen 51 new HIV notifications. Almost all infections in Western Australia are from sexual encounters.
Watch Sharing the Journey here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLcoI2lRfHY