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World AIDS Day in Second Life

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World AIDS Day Second Life Poster

World AIDS Day Second Life Poster

World AIDS Day (December 1) is less than a month away! One of our many World AIDS Day activities will be our participation in a Second Life Exit Disclaimer (SL) 2008 World AIDS Day event. As we mentioned in a previous post about SL, virtual worlds can be an effective way to reach people with HIV resources and information. Thanks to a generous grant from the National Library of Medicine, the Alliance Library System Exit Disclaimer (which also developed Health Info Island Exit Disclaimer) will open a brand new SL island Exit Disclaimer on World AIDS Day. That island will be dedicated to HIV/AIDS education, outreach, and support.

In preparation for the SL event, we sat down (in SL, of course) with two of the event’s organizers, Ricken Flow (Rick Davis in the real world) and Jenaia Morane Exit Disclaimer (Jena Ball in real life). Rick and Jena are both doing HIV work in SL and told us a bit about their experiences.

Rick said, “What surprised me most [about SL] is how close it is to real life. You have jobs, a commerce system, hospitals, grocery stores, architects, schools, etc.” He also told us that, unfortunately, real-life stigma around HIV translates into stigma in SL.

Ricky Davis (real life)/Ricken Flow (Second Life)

Ricky Davis (real life)
Ricken Flow (Second Life)

When Rick added his HIV status to his SL profile and received negative comments from other SL members, he realized that “People in virtual worlds need education and support just like in real life.” That’s when he decided to start an HIV/AIDS support group in SL. The group meets monthly and has over 60 members, 10 of whom meet regularly. Rick said, “The most exciting thing is having a presence so that people can ask questions about HIV, and feel comfortable talking about it, when they would never be able to do that in real life.” He also told us, “SL gives people living with AIDS who have physical limitations an opportunity to feel they are a part of a community and a support network.”

As founder of the HIV/AIDS Support Group, Rick was invited to speak at last year’s SL World AIDS Day event. This year, he volunteered to coordinate SL’s events, which include a World AIDS Day Musical Festival on November 30. On December 1, there will be a day-long event, including these activities:

  • Pathfinder Linden Exit Disclaimer will present on the importance of virtual reality in promoting health education, outreach, community support, and global activism.
  • Miguel Gomez and Michelle Samplin-Salgado, from the AIDS.gov team, will present on using new media in response to HIV/AIDS and on the new CDC HIV incidence data.
  • There will be tours of Karuna Exit Disclaimer, the new island in SL dedicated to HIV/AIDS education and outreach.
  • Jena will offer writing workshops where people can come and tell their stories about HIV/AIDS.
  • SL will offer special displays and information about HIV/AIDS, including virtual AIDS ribbons and t-shirts.
  • There will be virtual dance and live performances. (Rick told us, “SL has some amazing singers and musicians who perform live through streaming technology.”)
  • The day’s events will conclude with a candle-lighting ceremony.
Jena Ball (real life)/Jenaia Morane (Second Life)

Jena Ball (real life)
Jenaia Morane (Second Life)

According to Jena, “The World AIDS Day events in SL are an opportunity to help those who are dealing with HIV/AIDS find an international community of support and resources.” She continued, “Because SL is three-dimensional and global, it allows for meaningful interpersonal interactions in real time that simply aren’t available in chat rooms or other venues – interactions that are desperately needed when someone is dealing with HIV/AIDS.”

We encourage you to learn more about SL and join AIDS.gov there for World AIDS Day by visiting the event’s website Exit Disclaimer (you can find a media kit Exit Disclaimer, the agenda Exit Disclaimer, speakers Exit Disclaimer, and more).

In addition to the many virtual and real life events Exit Disclaimer planned for World AIDS Day, at AIDS.gov we’re planning several other new media activities, such as the Facing AIDS Campaign. Our next three blog posts will highlight these activities and include information on how you can get involved. Stay tuned for next week’s post on our Bloggers Unite on World AIDS Day event!

In the meantime, let us know if you’re in SL—we’d love to connect with you!

About AIDS.gov

Comments

  1. Josh L says:

    One Condoms has started the Presidential Condom Challenge Campaign in order to help our next president address the overwhelming increase of HIV infections per year in America
    To check this out further or join the team to help our future president promote safer sex education, visit http://onecondoms.com/challenge/index.htm

  2. Ricky Davis says:

    I cannot wait for the event. It is going to be great and I cannot wait to blog till my hearts content. We at Karuna are also looking for hiv/aids stories of all types. It could be from someone who is hiv+ like me to share the story or by anyone who is affected by hiv/aids.

  3. Ricky Davis says:

    Virtual Worlds are the next wave of the internet so its great to see more organizations get involved. One of the things we are doing for World Aids Day is to get stories from people living with hiv/aids and those affected by it. If you have a story to tell contact Jena Ball at jenaball@sbcglobal.net and if anyone wants to join Second Life and needs help feel free to contact me at rickenflow@gmail.com.

  4. Here is a great way to participate in World’s Aids Day. St. Vincent’s is holding a fundraising gala in order to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its Comprehensive HIV Center. It is a night to honor two decades of leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Please read below to find out how to participate in this wonderful event that will commemorate varies organizations and individuals who are committed to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
    Contact: Sujata Sinha
    212-981-5235
    http://WWW.SVCMC.ORG Mary Mooney
    212-604-2675
    St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan Comprehensive HIV Center
    Celebrates 20th Anniversary
    Stars, Fashion Gurus, And Politicians Turn Out To Honor Two Decades Of Leadership In The Fight Against HIV/AIDS
    New York, NY – December 2, 2008 – St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan will commemorate the 20th anniversary of its Comprehensive HIV Center with a special fundraiser on December 2, 2008 at Gotham Hall. The event will honor the history of St. Vincent’s center as it evolved in response to the devastating epidemic of the 1980s, becoming the largest designated HIV Center in New York State. In addition to recognizing St. Vincent’s long dedication and commitment to caring for those living with HIV/AIDS, 20 exceptional individuals and organizations will also be recognized for their commitment and impact in the fight against AIDS.
    New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn is serving as honorary chair of the celebration with Thom Filicia, Kristen Johnston, Florent Morellet, Bobby Moresco, and Brooke Shields as event chairs. Emcee Carson Kressley will be joined by keynote speaker Kenneth Cole and Nona Hendrix, from Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles (the sweethearts of The Apollo), will provide a special musical performance.
    Located in Greenwich Village, the epicenter of the domestic AIDS crisis, St. Vincent’s diagnosed some of the first known cases of HIV in the city in the early 1980s. “We are very proud of the profound work St. Vincent’s Hospital has done through the years,” says Henry Amoroso, President and CEO of Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers. “Our dedicated staff and doctors continue to inspire us every day with their courage and commitment in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”
    Event Honorees:
    Aid for AIDS International
    AIDS Service Center NYC
    AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA)
    Bailey House, Inc.
    Callen-Lorde Community Health Center
    Kenneth Cole
    Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
    Humberto Cruz, Director, NY State Department of Health AIDS Institute
    New York State Senator Thomas Duane
    The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR)
    Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Inc. (GMHC)
    God’s Love We Deliver
    Robert L. Johnson, MD, FAAP,
    Cyndi Lauper
    The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
    The Paul Rapoport Foundation Inc.
    Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders (SAGE)
    M. Monica Sweeney, MD, MPH, NYDOHMH, Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention & Control Village Care of New York (VCNY)
    Phill Wilson, CEO, Black AIDS Institute
    St. Vincent’s was the first clinic of its kind on the east coast that welcomed and provided care for individuals with the disease who were turned away and stigmatized elsewhere. “In the past 20 years, we have made great strides in this battle,” says Frederick P. Siegal, MD, director of the HIV/AIDS Center. “However, the rate of HIV and AIDS is rapidly rising in New York City and spreading at three times the national rate. Now more than ever, the work of the HIV Center is extremely important.”
    The HIV Center, which absorbed the Spellman Clinic from St. Vincent’s Midtown when the hospital closed in 2007, now treats more than 4,600 patients a year and works to curb the spread of the disease through educational programs and outreach. Prevention education programs for high-risk groups are a large part of staff outreach, while educating health care professionals through conferences and training programs help spread twenty years of expertise in fighting the disease.
    The 20th anniversary celebration will be held at the Gotham Hall, located at 1356 Broadway, at 36th Street beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets begin at $500 and are available by calling 212-604-6800, or online at http://www.svcmc.org/HIVevent.
    About Saint Vincent Comprehensive HIV Center
    St. Vincent’s Comprehensive HIV Center has been committed to providing care and services to people with HIV and AIDS since the start of the epidemic. Our staff of physicians and nurse practitioners cares for patients both as inpatients and outpatients, maintaining a continuity of care that is rarely achieved in large metropolitan health care institutions. Our social work and case management teams provide compassionate social services, support groups and individual counseling to HIV patients. It is the center’s mission to continue to serve the HIV and AIDS community in the tradition of caring and support pioneered by St. Vincent’s Hospital in 1849.
    About Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers
    Saint Vincent’s is anchored by St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan, an academic medical center located in Greenwich Village; St. Vincent’s Westchester, a behavioral health hospital in Westchester County; and continuing care services that include two skilled nursing facilities in Brooklyn, another on Staten Island, a hospice, and a home health agency serving the Metropolitan New York area. Its behavioral health services also provide supportive housing programs for people with mental illness throughout the Metropolitan area. The system became affiliated with St. Vincent’s Midtown Hospital (formerly St. Clare’s) in 2003. Saint Vincent’s is the designated provider for the New York and New Jersey region of the US Family Health Plan sponsored by the US Department of Defense.
    Saint Vincent’s serves as the academic medical center of New York Medical College in New York City. The healthcare organization is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Brooklyn and the president of the Sisters of Charity of New York.

  5. Alex says:

    Talking about Promoting the use of Contraceptives in the fight for Aids. I saw a initiative by the BBC and other organizations in a Country plagued with AIDS – India. Check out http://condomcondom.org/ . They devised a way to promote the message direct to the masses ( A ringtone) .. The ringtone is now Somebodys Ringtone, Someones Message Tone, Someones Clock Alarm. So talking about World Aids Day, I think we need to organize something in places where Aids is just present in the doctors dictionary for example here in the place where I live there are slums where roughly around 5000 People live, Out of them at least 1000 Must be HIV + . But they never know that. Nobody cares for them and now to go to them to promote the use of condoms is an uphill task I must admit but the root level is the place where things need to be addressed first because a person who goes 5 miles everyday to Fill a Bucket of water for drinking doesent care for Aids but for food.

  6. Each year, hundreds of young people around the world engage in peer-to-peer education and training using Peace Tiles, an arts-based intervention that aims to foster self-expression, awareness, and self-advocacy around HIV and AIDS. During Peace Tiles workshops, participants are invited to reflect on their experience using collage and mixed media techniques on wood panel.
    Murals produced during Peace Tiles workshops have been exhibited in South Africa, India, the United States, Senegal, Kenya, and at the headquarters of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Geneva, Switzerland. Since the Peace Tiles project began in 2005, more than 3,000 young people have produced as many individual works of art that have been kept, exchanged, and combined into large-scale murals.
    You’re invited to learn more and get involved at http://www.peacetiles.net

  7. Thanks Lars,
    We first learned about Peace Tiles in Second Life. Zeke has created a beautiful virtual display of real tiles that will premier at the WAD event on Monday, December 1 in Second Life. We look forward to seeing and learning more!
    Best,
    AIDS.gov

  8. Ricky Davis says:

    Here is another great event that will be held in Second Life and broadcast in real life in Chicago. If you are in Chicago attend! take a picture of you there with an ribbon on and post it to the flickr group. I want to see as many people with ribbons on as the technology allows !!!!1

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