Facing AIDS for World AIDS Day 2009: How You Can Take Action with One Photo

Content From: Jennie Anderson AIDS.gov Communications AdvisorPublished: November 10, 20093 min read

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Co-authored by Josie Halpern-Finnerty

If a picture says a thousand words, how much would a picture of you wearing a red ribbon and holding a sign that says you're "Facing AIDS for World AIDS Day" say? Could it help end stigma? Promote HIV testing? We think so - and we need your help.Last week at the U.S. Conference on AIDS, we kicked off the relaunch of our Facing AIDS for World AIDS Day campaign. Hundreds of you stopped by our photo boothExit Disclaimer and told us why you are Facing AIDS. In doing so, you are helping to reduce stigma around HIV by putting real faces to the people who care about responding to HIV, and by helping to promote HIV testing. We first launched this campaign last year for the 20th World AIDS Day and given how many of you responded, we're doing it again this year and taking it to the next level.

Here's how you can get involved in three easy steps:

  1. Take a Photo
    • Download a Facing AIDS sign (PDF, 157 KB) and write a message on it that says why you are Facing AIDS.
    • Then take a photo of yourself wearing a red ribbon with your sign.
    • Upload it to our Flickr groupExit Disclaimer and/or our Facebook fan page (in addition to the Flickr group, we'll be making a video of select images from the Facing AIDS campaign for you to share!).
  2. Change your Social Network Profile Picture and Status. On December 1 change your social network profile picture to your Facing AIDS photo and your status to:

    “is Facing AIDS for World AIDS Day. To find an HIV test site, text your ZIP to “KNOWIT” (566948), or visit www.HIVtest.org. Join me and post this to your status today.”

  3. Share

You can also check out and share this video about how to take part in the Facing AIDS campaign. The video features Tree Alexander from Brooklyn, New York, and HIV.gov Director Miguel Gomez. Tree told us he chose to get involved with the Facing AIDS campaign because, "I felt the need to join to help spread awareness. I felt as a kid HIV/AIDS was not in my social network or community. I felt like it couldn't happen to me... it wouldn't happen to me. I took the photo to show HIV looks like both you and me! But, I joined because I CARE. I joined because my community NEEDS ME. I joined because HIV is REAL!"

Looking for more ways to help Face AIDS for World AIDS Day?

  • Join our conference call on November 17, 2009 with representatives from Federal HIV/AIDS programs. To participate, register hereExit Disclaimer by November 15.
  • Tweet: Use the hashtag #WAD09Exit Disclaimer for all your World AIDS Day tweets. Connect with HIV.gov on Twitter!
  • Write a Blog Post: Join bloggers from around the world and write a blog post on December 1 about why you choose to Face AIDS. Not a blogger? Comment on someone else’s blog post or ask your favorite blogger to join the event.

Check out our World AIDS Day page for even more ideas on how to Face AIDS. Planning to get involved? Have an idea or an event of your own? We'd love to hear from you!