“I Love You Positive or Negative” is the central message of Designing Hope’s campaign imagined in 2005 aimed at fighting the stigma and discrimination related to HIV and AIDS. Every person affected by the virus would like to hear this message from their community: husbands, wives, partners, friends, parents, children, employers, colleagues… Many projects have been developed from this message.
ANTIDOTE TO STIGMA
A Positive or Negative sign cannot stop people from loving one another.
One can be loved, even with a positive status.
One can have lots of love to give and share, despite being positive.
Protection is the only key to unlocking love, whatever one’s status is.
A message for anyone, but particularly necessary in Africa.
An antidote to stigma, to dare to speak, to dare to love, to dare to live.
The purpose of the campaign is to target these different groups with a specific approach, a specific baseline and personalized message, to remove the stigma and fear of people living with HIV/AIDS, in the family, workplace and community context of daily life – a message of love and respect that will also contain precise information to reassure people and to fight existing prejudice.
STIGMA IS A BARRIER TO ANY IMPROVEMENT OF THE HIV & AIDS PANDEMIC
As the access to treatment remains a major issue in Africa, many countries, even the most affected ones, have often the ability to supply people with Anti-retroviral therapies. However, the stigma against testing and acknowledgement of a positive HIV status, is recognizably the greatest barrier: the will and determination to get tested is drastically lacking.
Fear of exclusion is extremely high, and millions of people who choose to remain unaware of their status.
STIGMA’S FIRST VICTIMS ARE WOMEN
Most women learn their HIV status during a test done during pregnancy.This discovery is too often followed by a rejection from the entourage.
In a context of extreme social precariousness, women often have to support children and members of their extended family too.
The HIV positive status is often associated with the hopelessness of rebuilding one’s life with a steady partner.
A MESSAGE FOR ALL
Since 2005, “I Love You Positive or Negative” has been an international campaign gathering multiple initiatives that are always enriched by creative contributions: Music4life, Artists4life, One Month of Love…
Many people, in Africa or Europe, Positive or Negative, famous or anonymous, could express their feelings through this message, especially during support group meetings or Income-Generating Activities. These discussions have then led to new messages or creative works, that have been reproduced on posters, condom packs, T-shirts…