Think Positive is a new campaign from leading NSW community health organisation, ACON, focused on addressing HIV stigma. The campaign is designed to create empathetic and informed allies amongst people who are HIV negative, while enabling resilience amongst people living with HIV (PLHIV). This campaign positively encourages an important step towards a post-stigma world, the first of its kind from ACON. Together, we’re proud to announce, ‘It’s time to think positive about HIV’.
Stigma impacts PLHIV in many ways, including health outcomes. Macro stigma exists in attitudes in society, laws, practices, and services that function to disadvantage a stigmatised population. Micro stigma occurs at an individual level, and is much more common in Australia with 56% of PLHIV having had at least one experience of HIV stigma in the previous 12 months, and 9% saying they experience stigma “often” or “always”. This needs to change.
The reality in 2021 is that science has proven when a PLHIV is on effective treatment and maintaining an undetectable viral load (UVL), they are unable to pass on HIV to a sexual partner including during sex without condoms. In fact, there has never been a documented case of HIV transmitted to a sexual partner by someone with an UVL. Despite this proven science, a lack of belief still sits at the core of stigma surrounding HIV in Australia today.
To address this, ACON approached Goodwork to develop a video, digital, and print media campaign. The campaign invites allies from both in and outside of our gender and sexuality diverse community to share short first-hand stories of allyship and support, including PLHIV to share their lived experiences. From HIV negative individuals to supportive family members, healthcare workers, serodiscordant couples and f**k buddies, we weren’t looking for people to disclose their status on camera, but rather declare their support as proud allies.
It’s time for change. It’s time to be on the right side of history and Think Positive is here to do that. Framing the campaign as a move towards a ‘post-stigma’ world, the campaign call to action of ‘It’s time..’, sends a clear message towards change, expressed through a vibrant visual identity that reflects the positivity of this message.
We’d like to express our gratitude to the team at ACON for the opportunity to continue our support of the LGBTQ community with Think Positive. We’d also like to extend our gratitude to everyone involved in bringing this campaign to life from our truly wonderful video production partners to our talented photographers and our fabulous community cast.
Together let’s stop stigma and press play.
Film production: Rachel Knepfer
Director/Photographer: Hugh Stewart
Framed in a positive light, through the videography and photography of our people, sunlight streams into the studio conveying a sense of warmth and positivity towards a new day. While the simple canvas of a crisp white background picks up long, dappled shadows, as a symbol of time and change in support of the stories before it. As these stories are shared, participants sit side by side as a symbol of allyship, while front-on filming creates a sense of openness and heartfelt honesty as we connect with viewers, and each other.
It wouldn’t be an ACON campaign without a little play—so we kept the camera rolling between scenes to capture more candid moments. A cheeky kiss here, a hug there. Together, helping to buck the trend of stigma conversions that err on the side of darker content. After all, it’s time to think positive about HIV.
A confident and vibrant type treatment within the campaign identity presents an engaging point of contrast in creative applications, further adding to the positivity in this powerful platform for change.