A New Photo Campaign Featuring Real People Aims To Help Take The Stigma Out Of Being HIV+

My Name Is Josue
My name is Josue HIV+ since 2009, 29 years old, homeless, living in the U.S. on my own without any family. I am hoping and working towards a better life in the US.
Ryan Kelly My name is Ryan Kelly. I contracted HIV in April 2010. I was a crystal meth addict at the time I contracted the disease. I thought my life was over and my positive status drove me deeper into my addiction. Against all odds, I rose above and stopped using drugs. I now live a fulfilling life. I used to say I had to "deal" with having HIV. Now I know it is simply something I am "living" with and I am not ashamed to say that I am HIV positive.

Ryan Kelly
My name is Ryan Kelly. I contracted HIV in April 2010. I was a crystal meth addict at the time I contracted the disease. I thought my life was over and my positive status drove me deeper into my addiction. Against all odds, I rose above and stopped using drugs. I now live a fulfilling life. I used to say I had to “deal” with having HIV. Now I know it is simply something I am “living” with and I am not ashamed to say that I am HIV positive.

It is so important to have a large variety of out HIV+ people for the world to look at and observe that the disease does not discriminate.

Huff Post reports:

The “Rise Up to HIV” campaign was inspired by an image of Chelsea Clinton holding a sign for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. My vision for this campaign is to mobilize people across the United States and the world who are willing to stand up in an effort to reduce HIV stigma. Participants are empowered by the act of pairing a simple statement with their personal story and photo. In turn, these stories inspire hope and empower others to fight stigma. This campaign identifies and mobilizes individuals who are making a difference in their communities. When you are engaged in your own care, you’ll engage others, which will in turn create healthier communities.

This is not the first anti-stigma campaign, and it certainly won’t be the last. Since receiving my HIV and hepatitis C diagnoses nearly three years ago, I have seen some amazing campaigns doing good things in communities across the country and the Web. But in my opinion, not enough awareness and education campaigns can exist to tackle this issue.

Read More at Huff Post 

How to join the campaign:

  • On Facebook: Simply tag Rise Up to HIV or send a message to Rise Up to HIV containing your photo and a sentence or two about yourself, or a longer bio if you have one, or links to any of your blogs, videos, etc., that you would like for us to feature. Visit the event page to see who else is participating, and you may visit the Facebook album of folks who have already submitted their photos.
  • On Twitter: You can tweet an image and a sentence to @RiseUpToHIV, and use the hashtag #TeamNoShame.
  • If you are not on Facebook or Twitter, you can email your photo to noshame@riseuptohiv.org, and I will be sure to place it in the album on Facebook.
My Name Is Josue My name is Josue HIV+ since 2009, 29 years old, homeless, living in the U.S. on my own without any family. I am hoping and working towards a better life in the US.

My Name Is Josue
My name is Josue HIV+ since 2009, 29 years old, homeless, living in the U.S. on my own without any family. I am hoping and working towards a better life in the US.

See more stories HERE

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