It’s important that the day-to-day experiences of people with HIV are not forgotten like the calendar pages of yesteryear. That’s why the unique story preservation group Project + Connect has launched the Journal Initiative.
The way it works is simple: If you are living with HIV and want to participate, you will receive a free 30-day journal kit in a discreet envelope by mail (including a welcome letter, a pen, journal and prepaid return envelope). Over 30 days, you fill the journal with writings, essays, diary entries, thoughts, short stories, drawings, poetry—just about anything to document your life. Next, you send it back to Project + Connect, where it will be preserved indefinitely.
You can choose to remain anonymous; you can also opt to have your journal shared as a resource to fight stigma. For example, the project could share the stories (anonymously) in multimedia performances and through public access to the journal archives.
“The Journal Initiative is open to anyone and everyone living with HIV or AIDS. There is no need to be a writer or an artist,” said project director Daniel DeLoma in the initiative’s press release. “So far, we’ve received journals that have been used to create daily diaries, collections of poetry, sketchbooks, short novels, graphic novels and pieces of art and to record medical reports.”
One other point he stresses: “The journal doesn’t have to be about HIV or AIDS, it only has to be written by someone living with HIV or AIDS. We have received journals that have only mentioned HIV two or three times and some that have not mentioned HIV or AIDS at all.”
For more information and to request a kit, visit ProjectAndConnect.org.