Who's Positive promotes HIV awareness, testing and prevention for youth in the United States. Who's Positive reaches out to young people in high schools and colleges by hosting a national speaking tour of HIV-positive youth. Participants in the speaking tour share their stories and encourage their young audience to get tested -- often providing rapid HIV tests on location.
Who's Positive is committed to raising awareness of HIV and its consequences. Who's Positive foregrounds the reality of living with HIV through the first-hand accounts of young adults coping with the disease. Who's Positive strives to remind the public that this is a virus with no cure. Through the stories of those living with HIV, Who's Positive hopes to reduce the transmission of HIV among teens and young adults -- a population with one of the fastest growing infection rates.
Founded by Executive Director Tom Donohue in 2003, Who's Positive developed rapidly from a regional program to a thriving organization with a national scope.
In 2004, in rural Pennsylvania, Who's Positive embarked on its first outreach campaign, called "Have You Been Tested Lately?" Tom Donohue was featured on a billboard as a young person in the community living with HIV. Tom's face was pictured with the words "My Name is Tom ... 25 years old ... HIV positive ... and in your neighborhood, just like HIV. Have You Been Tested Lately?" Publications such as the New York Daily News, POZ and HIV Plus published stories about the billboard. Local news outlets in central Pennsylvania ran the story, raising HIV awareness all over the state.
In 2005, Who's Positive participated in the Campaign to End AIDS, a diverse, exciting new coalition of people living with HIV, their advocates and their loved ones. Individuals and organization across the United States mobilized to demand that leaders exert the political will to stop the epidemic in the U.S. and abroad. Who's Positive traveled from Boston, Massachusetts, all the way to Washington, D.C., stopping in cities across the northeastern U.S. to raise HIV awareness.
Through 2004 and 2005, Who's Positive acted as the Director for AIDS Watch, a project of the National Association of People with AIDS. By directly urging members of congress to increase federal funding and support for domestic and global AIDS programs, people with HIV, their supporters and allies can make a meaningful impact on the federal appropriations process and help everyone living with HIV. Who's Positive was responsible for arranging meetings with congressional leaders and their constituents across Pennsylvania. When necessary, Who's Positive met with congressional leaders on behalf of residents who were unable to attend in person.
Then in June 2006, Who's Positive announced Operation: Get Tested.
Operation: Get Tested (OGT) is a national tour of young adults dedicated to making a difference in the struggle against HIV/AIDS. In 2006, OGT will enable six HIV-positive youth between the ages of 18 and 26 to travel across the United States on a mission to put a human face on HIV, and, in the process, help to prevent and reduce infection rates among youth and empower, encourage, and provide an opportunity for youth to be tested for HIV. These six young HIVers will pile into a bus and share their stories in 33 locations over seven weeks, from Washington, D.C. to Miami, Fla. and Los Angeles, Calif. The tour kicks off on October 15, 2006, National Latino HIV Awareness Day, at New York University in New York City. At each stop, tour members will share their stories, host a discussion and (usually) offer free, rapid HIV tests on the spot. Click here for a list of tour dates. Click here to access blogs from the tour speakers.