”HIVocrisy – get cured” – communication campaign for the Health Psychology Studio social campaign
”HIV is a problem of people just like us. Showing a positive image of people infected with the virus, making people sympathise with them, talking about chances not dangers, showing HIV-positive people leading normal lives to change the stereotype image of them” – this was the main idea put across in the innovative education campaign aimed at combating discrimination of HIV-positive people.
We decided to provide communication services for this campaign bearing in mind how important social problem it breaches and how important is building of the acceptance for the virus infected people in Polish society.
The biggest problem of HIV-positive people is actually not the virus itself but alienation and loneliness they suffer when they reveal they are HIV-positive. The society’s acceptance is very superficial. When we learn that HIV-positive people are among us we change our behaviour – we don’t want to work with them, use the same cutlery, even shake their hands. With HIV virus it seems easier to get back to health than to social life. The virus can be controlled with medicine and it is possible to live with it till old age, but there is no medicine for ostracism. ”In Poland HIV is still associated with prostitution, homosexualism and drugs. ”Normal” people think that HIV is not about them and have scarce knowledge about it, thus quite often, while learning that someone is infected, they react with fear (Stigma Index, 2011)”
Our aims in the campaign were:
- showing how lack of knowledge about ways of possible HIV infection can socially alienate HIV-positive people;
- eliminating prejudice against HIV-positive people;
- increasing consciousness about what is safe in contacts with infected people;
- making journalists more sensitive to the way the problem is presented and the language that is used while talking about it.
The initiator of the campaign was the Health Psychology Studio. The concept and creation was given to Leo Burnet agency, and we were responsible for public relations activities.
The campaign was addressed to healthy adults leading a healthy, active lifestyle, big cities inhabitants. For the first time in Poland the face of the campaign was HIV-positive people – KASIA (Kate), a young, active psychologist. We focused our communication activities around the campaign’s heroine as a representative of a group of HIV-positive people: a young, educated, active woman openly talking about her life and showing its positive aspects. We recommended such communication channels to allow interaction and direct contact with HIV-positive people – the internet, social media, urban actions, activities at schools, all supported with media activity and educational materials. Making it possible to talk honestly to HIV-positive people, establishing kind of relations with them was to change the stereotype thinking about the HIV-positive persons and show that contact with them is safe.
Tools and communication solutions used in the campaign:
a) the campaign website – www.hivokryzja.pl and www.hivocrisy.pl – the source of data about the problem and the campaign itself; facts about the HIV, on-line clinic, educational materials to download; more than 35,000 views.
b) Facebook – the main communication channel (information about the activities in the campaign, event announcements and accounts , videos, mems, pictures, educational materials and links to articles and websites presenting projects about HIV from all around the world)
c) Advertising spots:
- spot no. 1 – opening the narration. Kasia, the HIV -positive person tells about problems she encounters because of the fact that she is infected;
- spot no. 2 – Rafał Mohr, an actor, the campaign ambassador argues that HIV – positive people should be treated in the same way as healthy people and proves it in a scene of a kiss with Kasia.
- spot no. 3 – rapper and music journalist Vienio is cooking together with Kasia, using the same cutlery and eating from the same plate.
d) Urban actions – activities in the city space in Warsaw, Wroclaw, Poznan and Ustka; information actions, happenings taking place in the city streets, restaurants, pubs and public buildings.
e) Ambient actions – sings in public places with slogans such as ”Sitting next to a HIV – positive person you won’t get infected” or “Touching the same table you won’t get HIV”.
f) „HIVocrisy test” – on December 1, on the World AIDS Day, guest of a Warsaw restaurant could use the cup used by an HIV-positive person. The cup bearing a slogan ”An HIV-positive person drank from this cup” was later put to auction on the Allegro service, and all proceeds were allocated to help the infected.
g) A series of educational activities
- trainings for volunteer workers
- meetings, workshops at schools
- a theatre show
- educational materials distributed in medical centres (hospitals, clinics)
- cooperation with sanitary epidemiological stations all around the country
h) Campaign support from celebrities, among the others Kuba Wojewódzki, Paulina Młynarska, Tomasz Kamel, Agnieszka Holland
i) Advertising campaign in nation-wide media
The subject of discrimination of HIV-positive people was also breached during a public debate – in the Parliament, during health conferences. The sanitary-epidemiological stations volunteered to be part of the campaign. Its grand finale was the photo exhibition presenting infected people.
- Increasing the public consciousness about ways of getting HIV virus thanks to reaching a wide public opinion.
- Change in the way the problem is presented in the media, making journalists more sensitive to words they use while talking about the subject of HIV.
- New partners joining during the campaign.
- Introducing the subject of ostracism towards HIV infected people into the public debate.
- Campaign statistics
- 45 volunteers
- 240 urban actions
- 450 media publications
- 8 000 educational and information materials
- 13 000 citings of the HIVocirisy slogan
- 15 million of the campaign addressees
The campaign was implemented thanks to the support of patrons and partners: the Parliament Lower Chamber deputy speaker Wanda Nowicka, National AIDS Centre, Leo Burnett, Media Monitoring Institute, RDC Radio Dla Ciebie, Ateneum Theatre, Tęcza Studio, Jansen.
Planet Partners and the client – Health Psychology Studio were awarded for the ” HIVocrisy – get cured” campaign with the Golden Clip Award 2016 in Medicine and Health.