Healthline and Project Inform at San Francisco AIDS Walk

Participants in this Sunday’s San Francisco AIDS Walk will have a chance to stamp out stigma while raising money for the non-profit Project Inform.

A team from Healthline's San Francisco headquarters will be on hand not only to participate in the fundraising walk, but also to shoot videos documenting the personal stories of people living with HIV for the company's popular “You’ve Got This” social campaign.

Healthline launched the "You’ve Got This" campaign last year. People with HIV can upload short videos sharing their personal stories of living positive, fulfilling lives despite having the disease.

Healthline donates $10 to charity for each uploaded video, and will continue to do so on Sunday at the S.F. AIDS Walk, with donations benefiting Project Inform. The Timothy Ray Brown Foundation has also benefited from the campaign in the past.

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Videos in the "You’ve Got This" collection include uplifting, emotional, and even humorous stories from a diverse range of people. Contributors include Ongina of "RuPaul’s Drag Race" fame, supermodel Jack Mackenroth of Project Runway, and people who may not be famous but whose videos still have the power to positively impact lives.

For example, Byanca shares her story of being born HIV-positive. Joshua provides a tearful account of going back to college upon learning he was diagnosed. He offers tender encouragement to others newly diagnosed, telling them they have a “whole life to live.” He ends the video by blowing a kiss.

Travis explains what it was like learning he was HIV-positive while getting tested in a bar with lots of people around. Thom shares a very direct tale of living with HIV for more than three decades.

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Josh Robbins, an HIV-positive activist who runs the website imstilljosh.com and a Facebook page offering support to those newly diagnosed with HIV, interviewed AIDS Walk S.F. organizer Craig R. Miller about the "You’ve Got This" campaign. “Healthline is able to reach a wide audience, especially young people, through one of the most powerful and effective tools available — the devices we have right in our pockets,” he said. “This grassroots effort offers hope and support to countless people living with HIV.”

Dana Van Gorder, executive director of Project Inform, told Robbins she is grateful for Healthline’s support. “Perhaps the greatest challenge we have in ending HIV and AIDS is the unwarranted stigma still associated with the disease. Project Inform applauds the You’ve Got This campaign for reminding the public that much work remains to be done to end this epidemic, and that those affected by HIV and AIDS are good people, entirely deserving of compassion and support.”

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2011 report from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that many Americans still hold negative attitudes toward people with HIV. HIV prevention specialists say the stigma associated with the disease discourages many in high-risk groups, such as black and Hispanic men who have sex with men, from getting tested. The result is that many people do not know they have HIV and continue to transmit it unknowingly, despite the fact that antiretroviral medications are available that can decrease the risk of spreading HIV by up to 90 percent.

To Register for AIDS Walk San Francisco, click here.

For those unable to attend the S.F. AIDS Walk, click here to learn how to shoot and upload your own "You've Got This" video.