October 23, 2013
Philadelphia is currently playing host to POSITIVO, a brand-new, city-backed campaign that shows the faces of Latinos living with and affected by HIV, but does not tell the viewer each individual's status, NewsWorks reports. The images posted in shops and on street corners around Philadelphia feature people engaged in normal, everyday activities: on public transit, in the park, hugging and smiling.
The campaign is spearheaded by the Gay and Lesbian AIDS Education Initiative (GALAEI), which co-hosted TheBody.com's Twitter chat on HIV and the Latino community. The campaign strove to show the faces of those living with HIV and not models, so that people could see their neighbors and friends and identify with those in the ads.
Rafael Alvarez, featured in one of the posters, participated in the project because he wanted to refute the stereotype that Latinos are homophobic and overly stigmatizing of those living with HIV. He said:
Perceptions are reality, [a]nd if the perception of a community is negative or labeled in ignorance, then that's what's going to be the reality.
Louie Ortiz, the creator of POSITIVO, hopes that the posters will make the term "positivo" one of hope and will translate to more people getting tested for HIV. Also, he hopes to create a dialogue about HIV through the campaign posters, which will be up through the end of the year in Philadelphia.
Mathew Rodriguez is the editorial project manager for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.
Follow Mathew on Twitter: @mathewrodriguez.
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