Unravelling HIV/AIDS Through Real Stories.

Posted: July 21, 2016

Brand design and lead agency Shift Joe Public and digital agency Connect Joe Public, in partnership with client Anglo American, launched a ribbon wall and exhibition in partnership with UNAIDS at this year’s 21st International Aids Conference: AIDS 2016 this week.

The strategic brand design and digital concept included a big idea of unravelling HIV/AIDS by sharing the brave, untold testimonies that exist behind this pandemic. As part of the bigger initiative and idea for the conference, the integrated team created an interactive exhibition which was woven out of individual ribbons to capture the message of “unravelling HIV/AIDS through real stories”, and invited delegates to engage with these real experiences.

In preparation for this year’s event the agencies partnered with therapists to collect stories from our local communities, stories of individual experiences of the people living or working with HIV/AIDS. In creating a safe, open space for dialogue, the therapists connected with several individuals who were then invited to share their personal testimonies.

Delegates were invited to pull out a ribbon and wrap this around their wrist as a universal pledge to support an HIV/AIDS free generation and continue the conversation online.

As more and more delegates interacted with the installation, physically unraveling HIV/AIDS, the goal of our participation message was revealed:
“Towards An HIV-Free Generation”.

The ribbons are more than a pledge, they act as an invitation to discover “the rest of the story”. Each ribbon is colour-coded and containing a short sentiment from one of the stories, leading delegates to engage with the rest of the personal accounts in a digital space. #GenEndIt #proTESTHIV

The telling of these stories is a process that has provided healing and restoration – both in the sharing and the engaging. These portraits are a tribute to the brave individuals whose selfless courage and honest voices made this all possible.

The stories showcased are people that truly inspire us to believe that the first HIV-free generation is within our reach.