WASHINGTON, Tuesday, 5 October 2010 — Greater Than AIDS, a national movement supported by a broad coalition of public and private sector partners, today unveiled the latest phase of its campaign to mobilize Black Americans in response to the devastating epidemic which will mark its 30th year next June. Black Americans account for nearly half of new HIV infections occurring annually in the United States, while representing 13 percent of the population. In addition to being disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, Black Americans are also significantly more likely to die as a result as compared to other races and ethnicities in this country.
The cross-platform media campaign focuses on Deciding Moments, everyday opportunities to take a stand against HIV drawn from real-life stories of people from across the country — including those living with HIV. Be it asking to be tested, buying (and using) condoms, correcting a piece of misinformation, or keeping up with one’s medications, these simple acts serve to challenge the stigma surrounding HIV and stem its spread. These individuals opened up about their experiences in the hopes of inspiring others to do the same. An interactive feature on the campaign’s website — www.greaterthan.org — allows visitors to post their own deciding moments.
“As we prepare to close three decades of HIV/AIDS, this is our collective Deciding Moment as a people,” said Phill Wilson, President and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute, a founding partner of Greater Than AIDS. “Black Americans have borne the brunt of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and now is the time to come together and do our part to change the course of this epidemic.”
The Deciding Moments campaign begins rolling out outdoor, print and online public service advertising this month with television to follow later in the fall and will continue through next year. Leading media companies, including the American Urban Radio Network, CBS Outdoor and Radio, Clear Channel Communications, Ebony, ESSENCE Communications, the National Newspaper Publishers Association, and Radio One, among others, are providing significant donated media space to support the campaign as Greater Than AIDS partners. A number of state health departments and AIDS offices have also embraced Greater Than AIDS and along with AIDS service organizations and other community groups are leveraging the national campaign to develop expanded targeted efforts in their local areas.
“It’s unprecedented to have such a broad cross-section of media, along with other private and public sector organizations, come together on an issue of such vital importance for Black Americans and the nation,” said Drew Altman, President and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The “Deciding Moments” concept grew from research conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation that reveal the deep-seated stigma that still exists around HIV/AIDS despite strong personal connections to the issue. The overarching message reinforces the core Greater Than AIDS ideals of unity, hope and empowerment by focusing on the power of individuals coming together to achieve a larger goal. The individuals profiled in the campaign reinforce the range of actions promoted by Greater Than AIDS: knowledge, respect, communication, protection, testing and treatment and involvement.