AIDS Resource Center (ARC) Ohio launched a video production project to help increase awareness of ARC Ohio’s testing, medical and prevention services. We recorded video narratives of individuals from communities of color, representing Ohio’s most at risk-populations, and used to create promotional videos. HIV negative individuals who utilize ARC Ohio’s testing services offered a unique perspective of why it’s important to use safer sex practices and get tested regularly. People living with HIV also provided their stories to assist in breaking down the stigma surrounding getting tested for and/or living with HIV. We wanted to have videos that could help us better reach communities of color – in particular, young same gender loving men of color.
Two ARC staff persons were trained to create the videos. They worked with our statewide network of case managers to identify HIV positive individuals, who would be willing to share their story in a video campaign. This proved to be a challenge. While we serve over 4,000 HIV-positive individuals, it took a lot of effort to identify individuals who would be comfortable with a video recording. We also reached out to HIV negative individuals who utilize ARC Ohio’s free and confidential HIV testing services regularly. After contacting these individuals and setting up interviews, our production crew borrowed equipment and travelled around the state to meet and film them sharing their personal stories about why they get tested, what it is like to be HIV positive or their general experiences related to HIV/AIDS. Providing grocery gift cards as an incentive for participating helped us tackle this challenge.
After filming several interviews, we compiled the footage that would be most effective in communicating ARC Ohio’s messaging to our targeted audiences, including young same gender loving men of color. A collaborative effort helped to shape intentional themes that would have the greatest impact on various communities throughout Ohio. The two 3 minute videos were produced and shared through ARC Ohio’s social media outlets .
From this project we now have two videos that can form the basis of our continued outreach and communication. In addition, we increased technical and communication skills among our staff. We found that our interviewees wanted to share their stories because they knew it had the power to educate others and benefit their community. We focused on choosing questions that would make the interviews as in-depth as possible without making the interviewees uncomfortable. One of the challenges we faced was making the content of the interviews consumable by all audiences, which meant limiting the acronyms and medical terminology used by the interviewees. We encourage you to watch our videos here .
What has been your experience with producing health related videos for your HIV program?