At a time when advances in medicine mean that HIV is no longer something to be afraid of, new drugs mean that if you are taking medication with an undetectable viral load, you cannot pass it on. This means that for the first time we could stop the spread of HIV. This is big news that we wanted to share with two key communities who tend not to know the risks or hide from the facts. Individuals taking responsibility to get tested will make a massive difference.
Our creative work presented HIV in a new, empowering tone. We recruited real people to become the heroes of the ‘It Starts With Me’ movement, real people who were willing to stand up, take responsibility and inspire action amongst their peers and communities. We told their personal stories through film portraits, powerful photography and crafted the campaign’s no-nonsense, but emotive copy style.
And it is already making a difference. We have seen this year the biggest drop in new HIV cases ever. Some clinics have seen falls of up to 50% amongst gay men. Experts agree this is because of people taking control. More testing, people getting onto treatment quicker, and people protecting themselves from HIV by using PrEP and continuing to use condoms.
We Started Something
To amplify the success of the 'It Starts with Me' message and celebrate the drop in the number of positive HIV tests, we took to the streets during Pride in London 2017 in July to engage event goers from one of our key communities, as well as the broader public at large. Watch out for us at other summer events too.