Could this be the HIV equivalent to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? We think so. The concept is the brainchild of well-known HIV activist, Jack Mackenroth who has partnered with Moovz, the leading global gay social app, to launch the project. It’s genius in its simplicity. We are now a selfie-obsessed culture and Mackenroth urges everyone to take a special selfie for an important cause.
“I was inspired by the use of the word ‘clean’, especially common in gay culture, to describe oneself as STI/STD free. Indirectly this implies that HIV-positive people are somehow ‘dirty'”, says Mackenroth. “I thought a PG or PG-13 shower selfie or Vine video would be a fun way that everyone could easily show their support on social media for finding a cure by using the hashtag #weareALLclean when they post their photo with the link. They then nominate 3 other people to participate and hopefully donate to the project as well.”
The goal of the campaign is to raise 1 million dollars to stop the epidemic and help find a cure and the campaign will be ongoing indefinitely. Donate here. All donations received will be donated to Housing Works, a New York-based nonprofit organization fighting on the front lines to end AIDS and homelessness, not just in New York but globally by 2030. The CDC estimates that there are currently 1.2 million people in the US living with HIV and over 35 million people around the world.
“As someone who has been living with HIV for 25 years this is very personal to me.” Mackenroth adds, “There is current urgency for funding as we have new treatments that maintain viral suppression and render HIV-positive individuals virtually non-transmissible. Those same treatments can be given to HIV-negative individuals and protect them from infection. Essentially we already have the tools to stop the epidemic from spreading. Exciting new research is bringing us closer to a real cure for AIDS every day. ”
Housing Works President & CEO Charles King, recently appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo as Co-Chair of the New York State Task Force to end AIDS by 2020, adds “My hope is that this campaign inspires conversation, action and a reinvigorated commitment to end AIDS.”
The campaign will launch within Moovz because of the app’s high user engagement rates and it’s history of successful international LGBT social media campaigns. Mackenroth is known as a social media powerhouse in his own right but he is also enlisting many of his “social media superstar” friends to get the campaign off the ground.
Actor, model, singer and social media stud, Chris Salvatore is igniting the campaign from Los Angeles after joining forces with Moovz as well. “It’s time to erase the stigma and unite as a global community. Regardless of your gender or sexual identity—no matter what age, color, size or shape you are, you should be part of this project! Let’s all be one loud, united voice in support of awareness, education, treatment and research for a cure.” says Salvatore. “And have fun with it. Be funny, sexy or silly. Who doesn’t want to see people in the shower soaping up for a good cause?”
“I truly hope this campaign goes viral—no pun intended.” Mackenroth quips.
The campaign launches between now and World AIDS Day, December 1st and is ongoing until the goal is reached. The hope is that there will be traction in the following weeks so that people know about the campaign on World AIDS Day and change their profile photos to show support.
1) Take a selfie or Vine video of yourself in the shower.** NO EXPLICIT NUDITY**
3) Challenge 3 or more other people to participate!
4) (Optional) DONATE!! Please consider a small donation if you are able. Every penny counts! bit.ly/CUREAIDS
5) On World AIDS Day: Monday, December 1st, please change all your social media profile pix to your shower selfie photo and spread the word!!
For more information contact: Jack Mackenroth Jackmax2@gmail.com