Fact: People with HIV who maintain an undetectable viral load cannot pass along the virus sexually. That’s the powerful message behind “Undetectable Equals Untransmittable,” or “U=U.” Problem is, not enough people know this fact, and most health care providers and AIDS service organizations lack the resources to develop their own promotional materials to get the word out. That’s why Prevention Access Campaign (PAC), with support from ViiV Healthcare, launched the “+series” (Positive Series) campaign.
At the heart of the campaign are four first-person videos, beautifully animated and posted on YouTube, where they’re shareable via social media. Each video tells the life-affirming U=U story of a real person living with HIV: Dee Connor, Katie Willingham, Kaleb Anderson and Fernando De Hoyos. Videos are in English but available with subtitles in Chinese, French, Filipino, English and Spanish.
What’s more, the campaign allows individuals and organizations to create unique U=U posters based on artwork from the videos (anyone can download them from PositiveSeries.org and customize them with logos). They’re perfect for hanging in offices and handing out as flyers. GIFs are also available.
“We envision the videos playing in doctor’s offices or during appointments with folks who prefer learning visually and through stories,” says PAC executive director Bruce Richman, who adds that the lessons shared in the videos go beyond HIV transmission. “The captivating videos of authentic stories not only educate about U=U and engagement in care but also start conversations about gender identity, sexual orientation, racism, HIV stigma, alcoholism, adherence challenges and intimate partner violence.”
Telling such stories can change lives. As Katie, a transgender mom, says in her video: “Before [learning about U=U], I was always feeling like the world was better off without me. The message was exactly what I needed to hear to become my best. I could be a mom again. I could date again without the fear of intimacy. I felt human again just from hearing that U=U.”