Diverse Video Testimonials Help Reach Out to Encourage HIV Testing


CONTACT:  email, contact@ThePositiveProject.org; or call, Tony Miles or Dawn Shearer, 303-733-0545
Diverse Video Testimonials Help Reach Out to Encourage HIV Testing
The Positive Project Offers Video Segments to Help Outreach Efforts during the National AIDS Testing Day (June 27)
Denver, April, 2011- The Positive Project encourages AIDS Services Organizations to utilize their innovative video database in their campaigns geared to encourage Americans to get tested for HIV as part of the National HIV Testing Day on June 27. The National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) founded the day in 1995 and continues to lead its implementation each year. Non-profits and Public Health Entities around the United States that are seeking ways to attract more people to testing programs during that day may benefit from using videos in their campaigns to de-stigmatize getting tested for HIV.
In a statement made by president Obama during last year’s National Testing Day, he said: 
“One in five Americans who are currently living with HIV– more than 230,000 people — do not know their status.  The majority of HIV infections are spread by those who are unaware that they have the disease.  And research shows that people who know their status take better care of themselves and take steps to reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to others.  That is why it is so important that people get tested.”
“Established in 2000, The Positive Project is the largest searchable video archive in the world of people living with HIV. Our goal is to provide a mechanism by which people infected/affected by HIV/AIDS can share their experiences with those who can benefit from hearing them, to use their stories for the greater good. We know that people relate to people and stories are powerful tools. We aim to ensure that this disease does not lose its human face. Through The Positive Project, we are positioned to ask, listen, and utilize what we hear to raise awareness, reduce stigma, promote prevention, encourage testing, and enhance care and quality of life,” said Tony Miles, co-founder and Executive Director of the non-profit organization. “It is our wish that all organizations take advantage of our extensive archive of videos from people infected and affected with HIV in their educational, prevention and access to care activities,” added Miles.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all Americans between the ages of 13-64 get tested for HIV as part of their routine medical care.  Knowing their HIV status helps them take control of their health, protect their loved ones, and get connected to treatment, if needed. Close to 50,000 people get infected with HIV every year in the United States, and half of them are below 24 years of age.
After viewing clips from The Positive Project, Michelle (St Louis, Missouri), posted this comment, “Your clips are very encouraging. Up until now I have been very afraid to be tested, after having several partners in the past ten years. I believe I have now found the courage.”
“What’s unique about The Positive Project’s video database is not only its huge number of high quality videos but also its easy to use search engine that allows for finding videos tailored to specific populations,” said Nelson Vergel, a national health educator and activist. “One can search videos based on gender, ethnicity, age, keywords, sexual orientation, location, and language (English/Spanish). For non-profits looking for videos to help target specific populations, there is no better tool out there,” added Vergel.
For more information, visit, www.ThePositiveProject.org; email, contact@ThePositiveProject.org, or call, Tony Miles or Dawn Shearer, 303-733-0545
This is what professionals have to say about The Positive Project:       
 “The digital format maximizes the flexibility and utility of the interviews for prevention, care, education, and training purposes since it can be accessed and specifically tailored for targeted audiences. Building a workable digital database is the innovative essence of The Positive Project.”
John Anderson, Ph.D., Director, American Psychological Association, Office on AIDS
“This is an especially wonderful resource for people who live outside of major cities where there is no face to face information and support available.”
Craig Thompson, Executive Director-AIDS Project Los Angeles
 “Our medical and social work providers have been very impressed with the work of The Positive Project… Our clients often express a desire to learn about the experiences of others affected by HIV but frequently are not comfortable meeting other clients in person.”
Elizabeth McFarland, M.D., Director, The Children’s Hospital
 “The video segments compiled by The Positive Project clearly have the potential utility for use in health promotion interventions, including medication adherence interventions and safer-sex interventions for people living with the virus. Perhaps the greatest potential application of the video segments would be for newly-diagnosed persons who are isolated, frightened, and lack knowledge about HIV.”
Eric Benotsch, Ph.D. Associate Professor; Director, Health Psychology Program, Virginia Commonwealth University; Associate Editor, BMC Public Health

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