The HIV Equal (HIV=) campaign focuses on opening up the conversation among gay men about HIV, encourages consistent and frequent confidential testing, and tries to combat the stigma that infection carries. The message behind it is that everyone is equally valuable regardless of his or her status.
And now eight months after its inception by World Health Clinicians, the testing and photo campaign is poised to make a splash in New York this coming Saturday, May 31 from 4-9pm at BarTini Ultra Lounge.
“Our goal is to reignite the national conversation about HIV and HIV testing and get the New York community on-board with frequent testing,” says Chief Medical Officer of World Health Clinicians, Dr. Gary Blick. “With all of the recent medical advances such as the CDC’s endorsement of PrEP and the groundbreaking results of the PARTNER study, we have an arsenal of new tools that can change the transmission rates of HIV which have remained unchanged for decades. However the key to leveraging these scientific advances is getting everyone tested and linking positive individuals to proper care and treatment.”
The first wave of photos included celebrities such as Bianca Del Rio, Billy Porter, Greg Louganis, Todrick Hall, Peter Staley and many others.
So if you find yourself near Manhattan this weekend, here’s your opportunity to gather (for a good cause) with the likes of comedienne and actress Sandra Bernhard, event hostess and DJ Chi Chi La Rue, Adam Killian, Phi Phi O’Hara, Daniel Nardicio, Jiggly Caliente, Scott Nevins, Peppermint, King Ralphy, Miss Hell’s Kitchen 2014: Brenda Dharling, Viktor Luna, Cassanova and Scott Patric of Project Runway, Mickey Boardman, Seth Fornea, Jared LeBlanc, Jonathan Lovitz, Pearl, Eric Alan, Jackie Cox, Gregory Nalbone, Pusse Couture, Marti Gould Cummings and all of the fabulous people who have already been photographed for HIV Equal.
Whew. That was a mouthful, but with that crowd it’s sure to be a memorable evening. Only people who are participating in the campaign will be admitted, and part of participation is taking a confidential, rapid mouth-swab HIV test before the shoot. So get out and get tested, people!
And speaking of those photos, here’s a first look at the campaign’s kick-off. Expect to see more of these coming soon to a facebook feed near you.
For more information about World Health Clinicians, visit www.worldhealthclinicians.org. To learn more about HIV Equal, check out www.HIVequal.org, or for the You Can Play Project, head to www.youcanplayproject.org.