Name: Joanne W.
After the contest ended, we were able to catch up with Joanne and ask her a few questions.
Why did you choose to enter our contest?
On Easter Sunday this year I lost a friend of mine, Clint Walters. He was 30 years old and was diagnosed at the age of 19. Clint dedicated his life to helping newly diagnosed young people. I decided I wanted to honor Clint's memory this World AIDS Day by doing whatever I could to raise as much HIV awareness as possible.
What was the inspiration behind your PSA and why did you ultimately go with your idea?
At the age of 18 years old, I had my first sexual relationship and was diagnosed HIV positive. I had been educated on the importance of using condoms and always did apart from one occasion, without my knowledge when he had taken the condom off. Worst of all, the man knew he had HIV and failed to tell me. That was in 2000 and my world fell apart. There was very little information aimed at younger women like myself and I felt obligated to help others. I chose to use simple images that to me clearly represented HIV and an informative voice-over aimed at younger people. This is something I feel very passionate about.
What was the most difficult part of making the video?
Editing! It was the first time I had ever used my PC "movie maker" to make any kind of film. Adding the voice-over took many attempts.
What did you learn or get out of the process?
It can be tedious but very rewarding. I even managed to gain votes from Leann Rimes (one of my favorite singers) and Dannii Minogue!
Finally, what does World AIDS Day mean to you?
Acceptance and survival. Speaking out to help others and raising HIV awareness as much as possible. Remembering loved ones lost.