HIV education is one of the most important tools for raising HIV awareness. But, that doesn’t mean you have to be in a classroom to be a part of the fight against HIV. There are plenty of ways to raise HIV awareness in your community!
At UNM Truman Health Services, we’ve put together a list of fun, creative ways you can start a conversation about HIV with your friends, neighbors, and family!
HIV Movie Night
The best part about watching a movie at home is that you can have a discussion while it’s happening. Invite your friends over and watch a film that focuses on HIV/AIDS; HBO’s The Normal Heart, Precious, and Dallas Buyer’s Club are all great candidates. Pop some popcorn and prepare to be inspired!
Everyone loves baked goods – just ask the Girl Scouts. Channel your inner Julia Child and make your favorite baked goods to benefit HIV awareness. You can serve the baked goods to your peers or host a bake sale that benefits an HIV/AIDS foundation. Cookies with red ribbons, anyone?
Use the Causes Page on Facebook
Set up HIV awareness as your cause on Facebook and add it to your profile! You can network with other HIV advocates and friends can donate to your cause as a ‘gift’ on your birthday!
Create a Piece of Art
Art is a great tool in the fight to end HIV. In the past, artists have made dresses from condoms, created HIV+ comic book characters, and even short films. An organization called Visual AIDS often has competitions where you can enter your work.
Make Testing an Event
Your HIV status is personal and confidential, but that doesn’t mean you have to go to UNM Truman Health Services by yourself! Get a group of friends together and make rapid HIV testing an event. Celebrate your HIV awareness afterwards with a night out!
Start a Blog
Whether you’re image-oriented or you like to read, a blog is a great place to showcase your passion for HIV-awareness. It’s also a great place to archive all of your hard work and dedication to the cause!
Post a Video
We live in the age of YouTube, so why not share your passion on HIV awareness by posting your thoughts online? Set up your webcam and talk about HIV. Imagine you’re talking to everyone you love and care about. Share it with your friends and family.
Write a Letter to the Editor
Yes, people still read the newspaper. In fact, there are plenty of outlets online that you can submit your thoughts on HIV awareness. All you have to do is type it up and send it to the editor. Make your voice heard!
Get Vocal About the Hard Stuff
One of the reasons HIV is hard to talk about is because of its primary mode of transmission: sex and intravenous drug use. But, these have always been points of inspiration for artists and musicians. Whether you’re a creative type or not, you can raise HIV awareness by openly talking about HIV risk with the people you care about.
You can start the conversation with a simple, “Hey, do you get tested for HIV? My doctor said that everyone should get tested at least once a year.”