hope this message finds you well!
This is an exciting time in the HIV community, more and more scientific breakthroughs are improving the lives of people living with HIV and continuing to reduce mother to child transmission. We have even seen glimpses of hope towards ‘The Cure’ and an effective vaccine! We can begin to see an end to this epidemic which 25 million people have died of worldwide since the first cases were reported in 1981 and today 34 million people are living with HIV.
While the advances are very exciting we also couldn’t be more aware that the stigma associated with HIV is one of the biggest barriers to people getting tested, seeking medication and living their lives to the fullest. None of these scientific advances will be successful if people cannot feel safe to reach out, seek support or talk about their risk or status. This is why our work is more important then ever, and your support so valuable. We can foster leaders to begin reducing stigma by telling their stories, and create a relevant, media savvy campaign to challenge mis-conceptions and let people know that HIV is changing, and as a society we must too! You can be a part of ending the HIV epidemic!
We would like to extend our heart felt thanks to all of the contributors and supporters during this last reporting phase. One of our requirements from GlobalGiving is that we must provide our donors with quarterly reports on the project that you donated to, which of course is the Does HIV Look Like Me? Canada Campaign. If you wish to receive additional updates on what our organization is up to and to hear from our global ambassadors, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter here.
Since April we have been working on a campaign to bring awareness to the travel restrictions imposed on being living with HIV. The campaign, HIV Travel Restrictions = STIGMA uses info graphics to show both the countries perpetuating travel bans on people living with HIV and celebrating the countries who have recently amended restrictive policies. The campaigns have garnered significant interest so far, and are increasing our web and social media presence.
On World AIDS Day we will launch a campaign that address the issue of criminalization and HIV.
Please do sign up for our newsletter here, like us on facebook, and follow us on twitter for up to date information on HIV, our HIV Travel Restrictions = STIGMA campaign, and everything else in the news around HIV.
Our planned campaign for the Does HIV Look Like Me? Canada project requires a budget of $100,000, so our donations to date have not enabled us to hire staff and really kick off the project. In the meantime, we continue to raise awareness about the organization are partnering with local and national organizations to gain letters of support, and working with our volunteers to develop the amazing content of our online campaigns.
We are hoping for continued support, and encourage you to donate more and share the information about our amazing project with your friends and family, via email or through social media. All the links to share are provided below. Every little bit counts. All donations made in the US receive and tax receipt.
We are currently working on grants to help us reach our goal, and continue to secure community partners and mentors for our ambassadors, locally, nationally and internationally. We will also be seeking sponsors and funders both locally and nationally. Our hope is to garner some support from a hotel chain, an airline and a media sponsor to help us offset some of the travel and accommodation costs for our Does HIV Look Like Me? Canada Ambassadors. If you have any connections or suggestions we would love to hear about them!
We are excited to begin this journey to create our next generation of leaders, and help Canadians understand the HIV epidemic today.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions about the project. Stay tuned for our next report which you will be provided in a few months!