Stamping Out Stigma (A day in the life of a person living with HIV series)

Stigma around people living with HIV (PLWH) is still very high in Ontario.  It’s been well documented that one of the key barriers to HIV awareness is stigma.

Many people to this day have the wrong perception of what it is to be HIV positive and the images that are often used, perpetuate that stigma. HIV-related stigma normally stems from ignorance about what HIV is and irrational fears.

I volunteer as a Community Health Ambassador in Toronto and one of the issues that is evident in our work is stigma and the impact it has on PLWH.  It’s reported 3 out of 4 clients at Ontario Aids Service Organization report experiencing  stigma and/or discrimination. Let’s change this statistic!

In 2017, and more specifically in the context of Canada, it is imperative that in the fight against stigma, we present realistic images and relevant information.

People living with HIV are diverse, resilient and live FULL LIVES.   We all need to play our part and Stamp out Stigma.

I submitted a grant application to the KW Awesome Foundation to get support for a project re-branding HIV and using film and images to accurately portray PLWH.

What does HIV look like?  HIV has no face!  There is no “them” or “they” but US.

KW Awesome Foundation extended an invitation for me to pitch my idea at their pitch night on July 26 2017 in Kitchener.

This is very exciting and I’m hoping for the best.  Wish me luck !

 

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