AIDS.gov was proud to bring our Facing AIDS for World AIDS Day (December 1) initiative to the U.S. Conference on AIDS (USCA) for the fourth year in a row. For those of you who are not familiar with Facing AIDS, this initiative provides participants with an opportunity to reflect on their involvement in ending the AIDS epidemic. Participants take a photo with their sign, and pictures can be uploaded to the AIDS.gov photo gallery. This year we decided to set up our own photo booth at USCA. Sparkbooth , a customizable photo program, paired with a photo printer, enabled USCA participants to walk away with prints of their photos. Through Facing AIDS 2011, you and your community can help reduce stigma and promote HIV testing by putting a face to AIDS.
AIDS.gov has organized Facing AIDS events at conferences because we believe in the power of sharing personal testimony. During USCA, we were pleased to see two other photo sharing initiatives. The National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) with support from Gilead Sciences featured their Redefine HIV Campaign . In these photos people share actions they are taking to change the future impact of HIV. Gilead Sciences used photos from their booth to create a digital mosaic at USCA. Photos from these initiatives are usually shared in online galleries, but they can be repurposed in various ways. For example, Greater Than AIDS also plans to showcase their images from USCA for World AIDS Day on a billboard in Times Square. Act Against AIDS leads the Greater Than AIDS photo sharing project. This campaign focuses on the disproportionate effect of HIV among Black Americans in the United States. Greater than AIDS ask you to share your defining moment, or the moment when the epidemic became important to you. Facing AIDS along with other photo sharing initiatives use personal messages to educate and inspire.
We encourage you to check in with your target audiences to see if using one of these photo sharing projects will help you meet your goals. Facing AIDS is simple to replicate whether you are using a computer program, a digital camera, or smartphone. Leverage the power of photo sharing in your community!
Check out the Facing AIDS 2011 gallery and see why people across the country are Facing AIDS. Will you join AIDS.gov as we “Write. Snap. Share.” for World AIDS Day on Thursday, December 1, 2011?