CDC’s Let’s Stop HIV Together Campaign
Despite much progress, HIV continues to impact the lives of all Americans. Stigma and complacency are two major obstacles to addressing HIV in the United States.
• Stigma – Ongoing stigma about HIV or about those at risk of infection continues to prevent too many people from getting tested for HIV. For those already diagnosed with HIV, stigma can discourage them from seeking and staying in the care they need to remain healthy and avoid transmitting the disease to others.
• Complacency – Despite the fact that more than 1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, too many Americans do not recognize the magnitude of the problem. The nation’s sense of urgency has waned since the early days of HIV. Declining awareness and concern among the American public may lead some to underestimate the continued need for action to stop the spread of HIV.
Taking aim at these obstacles, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched Let’s Stop HIV Together, a national communication campaign designed to raise general awareness of HIV and AIDS and simultaneously combat complacency and stigma by increasing support for people living with HIV. The campaign gives a voice to people living with HIV from all walks of life; allowing them to publicly share their powerful stories of diagnosis and life with HIV to show that they are real people —mothers, fathers, friends, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, partners, wives, husbands, and co-workers.
Stories have power. Every voice and every story is important. The compelling and inspirational stories of the 47 Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign participants highlight the fact that HIV touches every corner of American society and that people living with HIV are part of the fabric of our families and valued member of our communities.
As a true champion for young people who are living with HIV, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) Ambassador Hydeia Broadbent, shares her own powerful story of life with HIV as a featured participant and essential voice in the Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign. Born with HIV, Hydeia was tested and diagnosed when she was 3 years old after her adopted parents were told that Hydeia’s birth mother and sibling had been diagnosed with HIV.
The Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign is both honored and humbled that Hydeia and all of the 47 campaign participants have joined forces with CDC to help dispel the myths surrounding HIV. Together, we are committed to assuring that all people know about HIV, their status, and how to prevent transmission. We all have a role to play in preventing HIV whether we are HIV positive or negative, male or female, young or old, gay or straight. We can all do something to help Stop HIV Together by getting the facts, getting tested, and getting involved.
• Get the Facts and Share the Facts. Learn the basics about HIV and AIDS. Do your part by educating yourself and talking about HIV with your friends, families, and loved ones. Whether it's a conversation, text message, Facebook status update, or a tweet—we must talk to each other about HIV and how we can prevent it. In fact, you can do it right now. Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using #StopHIVTogether.
• Get Tested. It’s easy. It’s free, fast, and confidential. CDC recommends that every adult and adolescent get tested at least once in his or her lifetime, and those at increased risk (for example, gay and bisexual men and individuals with new or multiple sexual partners) get tested at least once a year.
To find a testing site near you, go to hivtest.cdc.gov, call 1-800-CDC-INFO or text your ZIP code to KNOWIT (566948).
• Get Involved. A little help goes a long way. You can make a difference. Here are some easy tips, suggestions, and resources that you and your network can use to help prevent HIV. Learn more about Let’s Stop HIV Together at www.cdc.gov/ActAgainstAIDS/Together.