The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched today a new national HIV awareness campaign, Let’s Stop HIV Together. The nationwide campaign takes aim at the stigma and complacency fueling the HIV epidemic in the United States.
Research shows that while most Americans understand how HIV is transmitted, fear, discrimination and misperceptions continue to hamper progress against the disease. In fact, stigma associated with HIV is major barrier to HIV prevention efforts. For example, stigma often keeps those at risk for HIV from using condoms or seeking testing. As well, those diagnosed with HIV are often less likely to seek the care and treatment they need to stay healthy, prolong their lives and avoid transmitting HIV to others.
By helping to reduce stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV, and educating Americans about HIV risk and how to prevent it, Let’s Stop HIV Together helps to achieve specific goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.
The campaign gives voice to many Americans living with HIV and to their loved ones, helping to shatter stereotypes by showing real people with HIV who are thriving and living positive, active, and successful lives. More than 20 individuals living with HIV from all walks of life are featured in the campaign, including parents, artists, friends, partners, mentors, siblings, teachers, co-workers, business people, and children. Let’s Stop HIV Together showcases the steps they are taking to encourage others in the fight against HIV and AIDS, with the goal of raising awareness about the impact of HIV.
Every year in the United States, approximately 50,000 people are newly diagnosed with HIV. More than one million people are living with HIV in the U.S. and one in five does not know he or she is infected. To reach those unaware of their HIV infection, the campaign encourages all of us to learn about HIV prevention, testing and treatment.
Specifically, Let’s Stop HIV Together encourages everyone to
- Get the facts – Learn the basics of HIV transmission and prevention.
- Get tested – CDC recommends that every adult and adolescent get tested at least once in his or her lifetime, and those at increased risk (for example, men who have sex with men, and individuals with new or multiple sexual partners) get tested at least once a year.
- Get involved – Encourage friends and loved ones to get tested and speak out against the stigma and complacency that help fuel the spread of HIV.
The new campaign appears in national print and online ads, television and radio public service announcements (PSAs), billboards and other outdoor advertising venues.
Let’s Stop HIV Together is a part of CDC’s 5-year Act Against AIDS effort, which was launched in 2009 by the White House, HHS and CDC. Let’s Stop HIV Together also has a strong online component to extend the reach of the campaign’s important messages.
Visit www.ActAgainstAIDS.org to learn how you can join the fight to stop HIV. There are many ways you can get involved:
- Become a part of the new Act Against AIDS Facebook community
- View and share Let’s Stop HIV Together stories
- Spread the word about the campaign through Twitter by using the campaign hashtag #StopHIVTogether and by visiting us on the Act Against AIDS Twitter page @TalkHIV
- Download and share Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign materials
By working together, we can stop HIV and help move us toward an AIDS-free generation. I urge you to visit the campaign website and to get the facts, get tested, and get involved.
For more information on the campaign, contact ActAgainstAIDS@cdc.gov.