June 12, 2014
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Gay City Health Project, Seattle Counseling Service, the Center for Multicultural Health, Entre Hermanos, Lifelong AIDS Alliance, Gender Justice League, the GSBA, and Public Health - Seattle & King County are pleased to announce their partnership in a new community mobilization campaign entitled My HIV Moment. This diverse group of organizations, led by Gay City, has partnered together to mobilize Seattle's LGBT communities and allies in their response to the HIV epidemic through information, education, outreach, and prevention services.
The goal of the campaign is to reduce the number of new HIV infections in the Seattle area by 25% over the next two years. The partners hope to accomplish this by sharing information about how businesses, organizations, groups, and individuals can join in stopping the spread of HIV.
"With all of the recent advances in HIV prevention, we're genuinely at a moment where there is real hope that we can bring an end to the HIV epidemic," said Gay City Executive Director Fred Swanson. "In order to accomplish this, though, we all need to do our part. We hope to inspire people from all across our community to take action in the response to HIV."
Individuals are invited to participate in the campaign by sharing pictures of themselves along with their HIV moments (short statements briefly describing their response to the HIV epidemic.) These moments can be shared via their favorite social media platforms by attaching the hashtag #myHIVmoment.
The moments will be collected and viewable on myHIVmoment.org, the campaign's website. Over the course of this coming summer, the partners will collect these moments and use them to create a giant photo mural. The mural will symbolize and display what it looks like when people put all of their actions together, because every community action is made up of many individual ones.
The website also features a resource section where people can find information and links to assist in securing health insurance, HIV testing, STD screening and treatment, and prevention support.
"We're elated to be a part of this campaign," said CMCH Executive Director Shelley Cooper-Ashford. "This is a tremendous opportunity for these various partner agencies, each with their rich traditions of providing outstanding services to their respective communities, to come together for the greater good."
In addition, Gay City is working with the GSBA to encourage businesses and organizations to do their part as well, by helping to educate their staffs, members, and/or patrons on the many ways they can play a role in the community's response to the HIV epidemic.
The partners hope that people who share their moments will see how their actions are a part of the greater community's response to HIV. Through sharing their HIV moments, people can also help others take their first step towards reducing the impact of HIV as well. People are invited to follow along with the mural's progress online, starting at the beginning of July 2014. The final photo mural will be launched on World AIDS Day 2014.
"My HIV moment occurred about 26 years ago when a dear friend died of AIDS," shared Seattle Counseling Service Executive Director Ann McGettigan. "My grief moved me to commit to support the work of prevention and care around HIV/AIDS. It's an honor to work in an organization that serves community members living with HIV and to be here for a future where we can imagine the end of HIV."
Representatives from the campaign will be participating in Pride events all summer long, including Seattle PrideFest, the largest free Pride festival in the country, on Sunday, June 29 at the Seattle Center. The public is invited to stop by the My HIV Moment booth on top of Fisher Pavillion at the Seattle Center to pick up a free campaign t-shirt, and to get their picture taken at the official My HIV Moment photo booth.
For more information on the campaign, campaign events, and ways to participate, visit the My HIV Moment website at myHIVmoment.org.