Justin's HIV Journal

Thursday, February 25, 2016

HIV Smart Campaign

Justin B Terry-Smith Justin's HIV Journal
Ryan Colford Founder and President 
I was on Facebook when I first heard of and saw the HIV Smart Campaign and became very curious about what was its meaning.  As many HIV campaigns have become a part of social media this HIV campaign is the first of its kind that I’ve seen since PrEP was created.  I attended photoshoots in Baltimore and in Washington DC, both with good turn outs.  The pictures are meant to be shared on all social media including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  This campaign raises awareness on how we mentally see people with HIV and HIV itself.  While the mission is that people think smarter (hence the glasses) about HIV, it reduces HIV stigma at the same time.  It also makes not only the target population of gay men and MSM but the general population think about the benefits of PrEP and PEP.  Working with photographer Ryan Colford was amazing and he is amazing. 

HIV Smart was created by founder and President Ryan Colford, “to dispel ignorance because of all the disinformation still being circulated to the public in an age of technology. Real facts need to be known, and should be shared.”

For more information, please visit the HIV Smart Website: http://hivsmart.org/
To donate to the HIV Smart Campaign: https://www.gofundme.com/hivsmart

HIV Smart is a newly developed nonprofit organization that focuses on education about preventative methods (PrEP/PEP), education about risk behaviors, advocating HIV testing and the importance of knowing your status. HIV Smart also creates awareness about the serious link between people living with HIV and depression, and last but definitely not least, places an emphasis on fighting stigma.

The heart of HIV Smart campaign is a social media photo campaign. We encourage everyone to use their pictures across all forms of social media from Facebook to Instagram to Twitter. The recognizable imagery will help to raise awareness through increased visibility and foster real intelligent conversations relaying true facts and dispelling myths. These conversations will cover the challenges associated with the virus and stress the importance of treating all people with dignity and compassion.
Justin B Terry-Smith
Mr Maryland Leather 2010
Our goals are to create multiple photo events in each of the 50 states with a large focus on the top 5 states with the highest transmission rates (New York, Florida, California, Georgia, and Texas). We hope that each photo event will help educate everyone regardless of status, create more public awareness that it’s only disease, and reinforce that shame of any sort should never be associated with HIV.  He developed the idea of forming the organization, corresponding website, and blending it with his talents as a photographer by adding a social media photo campaign.

In Washington DC the HIV Smart Campaign was hosted by            Mr. DC Eagle 2016

In New York the HIV Smart Campaign was hosted by            Mr. New York Eagle 2016
In Baltimore the HIV Smart Campaign was hosted by                Mr. Maryland Leather 2016