LGBT youth, ages 25 and under (specifically gay/bisexual men)
Social media outlets
HIV Care Continuum
- Bar before the Bars: Addressing Stigma
- Linkage to care
- Retention in care
- Antiretroviral therapy
- Viral suppression
- Advocates for Youth
- AIDS United
- Black AIDS Institute
- Human Rights Campaign
- Kaiser Family Foundation
- Georgia State Health Department
- Texas State Health Department
Greater Than AIDS produces and distributes targeted HIV-prevention and anti-stigma campaigns for priority audiences. One such campaign is #SpeakOutHIV, an LGBTQ youth-driven, social-media initiative that aims to reduce stigma related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and HIV status as young people “speak out” or talk more openly about HIV, being gay, bisexual, and/or transgender. #SpeakOutHIV encourages open communication about HIV in personal relationships, with healthcare providers, and within the community. The cross-platform campaign features youth who are HIV-negative as well as those who are living with HIV.
The #SpeakOutHIV campaign began with personal stories recorded by young gay and bisexual men in a digital storytelling workshop in Washington, DC. The movement spread across the U.S., calling allies and those affected by HIV to #SpeakOutHIV. The campaign partners with local and state health departments to provide print and digital resources for customized #SpeakOutHIV public health campaigns. For example, #SpeakOutHIV features access to on-line discussions boards where participants can discuss preventive practices to address the availability of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) for young men.
The campaign has 70 youth ambassadors who have received extensive training on digital storytelling. They create two-minute personal videos to encourage peers to speak openly about HIV via social media and at targeted community outreach events. Ambassadors serve four-month terms and recruit 2-4 peers each month. These peers have the opportunity to recruit other participants to “speak out.” Individuals can record a video message, snap an “usie”, or post a Speak Out message on their social media platforms. The conversation continues in real life with the youth ambassadors in various forums across the country, including college campuses and local and state-level HIV community-planning groups.
#SpeakOutHIV challenges others to be a part of this movement by adding their voices. We have to stop the silence around HIV – What will you say to SPEAK OUT?