Campaign to focus on breakthrough research to prevent new HIV transmissions

The Aunt Rita’s Foundation campaign, HIV HIV Hooray will include marketing efforts, such as light rail wrapping. (submitted photo)

With December being AIDS Awareness month, Phoenix-based Aunt Rita’s Foundation is launching the U=U initiative in Arizona.

U=U stands for “Undetectable equals Untransmittable” and uses the hashtags #UequalsU and #U=U.

Much has changed since HIV/AIDS was first diagnosed in the 1980’s, according to a press release. Thanks to advances in treatment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced that people living with HIV, who take daily antiretroviral therapy and maintain an undetectable viral load, cannot transmit the virus to others, by any means.

Most people don’t know about the progress in HIV prevention. The U=U initiative has been created to change that. Fear and uncertainty are now being replaced with hope and optimism, the press release stated.

Aunt Rita’s Foundation will increase awareness of the U=U initiative through an extensive omni channel marketing campaign HIV HIV Hooray that will be seen on social media, billboards, digital media, light rail wraps, and events.

“Too many people are unaware of the advances in HIV treatment and prevention,” said Aunt Rita’s Foundation Executive Director Glen Spencer in a prepared statement. “The U equals U initiative is an important step in providing education about HIV and reducing the stigma associated with the condition.”

As part of the U=U movement, everyone, especially those at higher risk of HIV, will be encouraged to make testing a regular part of healthcare. For those who are HIV positive, the campaign will celebrate their ability to live healthy lives and not be a risk to others, as well as encourage daily anti-retroviral therapy.

The campaign will be an element in major 2019 Arizona events such as the annual AIDS Walk Arizona in February, the press release stated.

Messages in the campaign will include:

  • Treatment is now prevention.
  • HIV hasn’t changed. But your options have.
  • Life doesn’t stop at your status.
  • Spread the love without spreading HIV.
  • A positive status isn’t what it used to be.

Phoenix-based Moses Inc. created the HIV HIV Hooray campaign. The agency is also known for the “It’s only dangerous if you don’t know it’s there” campaign for the Arizona Department of Health Services and HIVAZ.org.

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