We can never do enough to raise awareness about the rise in HIV infection among young people, but a new campaign is getting the word out in a big way.
Lifebeat, Music Fights HIVS/AIDS, has teamed up with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation on a unique social-media effort, which will allow Twitter users to tweet messages of support to the more than 2,600 people aged 16 to 24 that are infected with HIV every day around the world.
Messages tagged #archesofhope through January 24 will be beamed to two Viacom jumbo screens in New York City’s Times Square and to a digital tickertape embedded in The Arches of Hope installation located in the lobby of The Out NYC urban resort.
Conceived by Out NYC creative director Patrick Duffy and designer-architect Antonio Pio Saracino, The Arches of Hope (right) consists of three 10-foot tall arches representing the three decades of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Making a stark impression in the hotel’s sleek minimalist lobby, the arches themselves are made up of 223 blocks, which can be “adopted” with proceeds going to Lifebeat and the MTV Staying Alive Foundation’s lifesaving HIV prevention programs.
As part of the campaign, organizers are urging Americans to sign a petition to have April 10 designated “National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day. “Only by fully investing in young people —in their health, their education, and their leadership—can we reach an AIDS-free generation,” said Lifebeat president and Howard Stern Show producer Gary Dell’Abate, who lost his brother to AIDS.