19th of September 2013
Day 1 Hola Mollina! I’m such a scaredy cat when it comes to doing things for the first time... So travelling alone wasn’t any different.  I think I checked my bags about 6 times to see if it was the right weight and if I really had everything with me… I called all my friends asking if  one of them could pretty please drive me to the airport –because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to figure out how airports work… - in the end my lovely grandparents agreed they would go through my stress journey with me, theydrove me to the airport and sent me off with love and kisses. And I have to admit… It wasn’t all that hard, figuring out an airport.. I arrived on time, found the right crowd and after a 6 hour trip I arrived at Mollina’s youth center. A bit sleep deprived I met the rest of the group and we did a few icebreakers to start the course. Want to know what my welcome present was? A ukulele – and I’m not kidding you. During one of the introduction games the question rose what other people wanted to learn from me… Apparently I’m supposed to be an expert at body language… Granted, I know a thing or two but didn’t expect the coaches to give me some time in the following days to do my own little course. I gladly accepted though and I will of course not forget about you, my dear readers and tell you all about it.       Day 2 If You Don’t Fight Today, You Will Cry Tomorrow I have already learned more from this course than I could imagine. Although it is pretty tiring, I’d say. Since the days last 10 hours, I’ll just talk about the highlights, so that I don’t bore you guys. We did a teambuilding exercise called ‘social dream’. For those who are not familiar with it, they scatter the group around the room not facing each other and give them a topic. The idea is to randomly say (if you feel like it) what you would like to say. Sounds a bit weird, doesn’t it? Well, that’s what I thought. I hate those moments where you have to talk without an actual purpose, it feels awkward! But it turned out to be pretty interesting. It evolved into a conversation and the anonymity of it made that everyone was really honest. So, note to future me: implement this in mentoring students at our education center! Second thing was the Inspirational Night. The idea was that everyone brought something that inspired them and could inspire others. My input was the speech ‘Everybody’s free to wear sunscreen’ and one of my latest birthday presents.  Curious about which present I brought? Well, a friend of mine wrote me a book… No joke. He wrote me a full 60 page story that implemented different characters who (for him) represented a part of my personality. If that’s not inspiring… Anyway, the rest of the group had some pretty interesting stories to tell too. My mind is running in overdrive to process all of them right now and the night ended (surprise surprise) with me discussing with one of the coaches about her visions on life. I didn’t expect that this experience would broaden my view on life and I’m so happy that I decided to take my first trip alone coming here!   Day 3 On Your Own But Not Alone It’s been a long and intense day today. Since the course is about self-directed learning, we got 24 hours off… Well, not exactly ‘off’. The idea is that we all had to find a question that was on our mind (related to being a mentor for volunteers, but also to yourself personally) and just go out and investigate it. I chose to try and answer the following question: ‘What influences people’s feeling of security/safety? And how can you use it?’  Why? I realized that in some situations I can feel perfectly comfortable and in others (even though it’s the same environment and people) I will shut down. Looking into this wasn’t like a school assignment, you don’t run to your laptop and write an essay. No, I had 24 hours to spend in my mind and talking to other people.  This made me realize that it has been such a long time since I spent that much time simply thinking and it’s not a  bad thing to do so, but – like I said – it’s pretty exhausting. In the evening we joined in a ‘ community circle’ to talk about the day and ended our night drinking a beer in town. There are some interesting people here, I’d say!   Written by Ayke Gubbels in Mollina, Spain    
15th of August 2013
The first porn star we interviewed at the Berlin Porn Festival 2006 was Marcel Schlutt: a German fashion model, photographer and columnist. This guy has a lot of qualities, for besides being a model he is also a star in gay porn. He became known in the early 2000s as the host of the first German gay TV-show. This multi-tasker worked for Levi Strauss, Vogue, New Yorker and many, many more. DAA was lucky to bump into him in Berlin and made it hot for him!   Marcel claims to know a lot of people who are hiv+, especially in the gay scene. However, Schlutt is one of those men that realize the importance of safe sex. This porn star always plays it safe and wraps it up! After asking him about the fact that a lot of porn viewers don't like seeing condoms he replied: ‘ I honestly don't see why people would make a big deal out of this. Wearing a condom is natural, I never mind to wear one. Porn stars should always protect themselves and their colleagues.' One last word of advice from Marcel: Live your life but always play safe!   In this photo, Schultz is wearing DAA T-shirt customized with tape by artist Dodi Reifenberg.
15th of June 2013
I am quite young so it’s not a surprise that most of my friends are still studying and thus in full exam mode right now. How does this influence me? Well, at home it goes a bit like this: I open the door  - singing along to the song playing on my phone- and gaze straight into the eyes of my frustrated boyfriend who starts shushing me from the moment I walk in. The trick here is to sneak by gently, hide in the living room and watch series in silence – so with headphones and without breathing - With my friends, it’s much the same. If I, during this period, ever make the daring choice of texting one of them to go for a drink – temporarily forgetting that they’re also behind books – they will make sure I’m reminded of the fact that they have no spare time and I should remember this. And If I forget, they will gladly remind me by smacking their books against my head...  And If , by extreme luck, I see one of my friends occasionally – and I think everyone who has ever had exams , will recognize this– they’re in full zombie mode.  This means: sweatpants, forgot-to –shower-hairstyles, surrounded by chocolate or other comfort food and laughing hysterically with every joke I make since they’re so tired their brain is slowly dying a painful death.  Good thing? My facebook feed is filled with regular updates and funny youtube-videos! But let’s get serious for a second. This is my first year without exams and if I’m honest, I kind of miss it… - Never EVER thought I’d say this – but instead of whimpering over the past, I will  give all you hard working students a few motivational songs that helped me ‘through my days’. You want some cute baby animals that are seriously disappointed with the fact that you’re not doing what you’re suppose to?  Click here. Or a musical song for you to dramatically sing along to? Here’s one for you!   Anyway, enjoy. And if it’s over, I strongly advice you to party like crazy – but do it safe!    
19th of March 2012
  AIR & PARADISO PRESENT MILKSHAKE FESTIVALFor boys who love girls who love girls who love boys who love boys….     This year on the 22nd of July, two famous clubs of Amsterdam, Air and Paradiso, are organising the Milkshake Festival in Westerpark Amsterdam. It’s going to be an amazing party for everyone: big, slim, small, tall, gay, hetero, trans, travo, from the darkest black to the brightest white. During the festival there’s going to be a Free Love & Tolerance Policy, free of the shortsightedness of the society that we live in today.   There will be 5 stages, each with its own style, but with a common sense of courtesy, freedom and tolerance. You can expect amazing decorations, performance art and lots of fun!   Top photographer Erwin Olaf is going to have his own Black Pool Party stage at the festival. He is known from the famous picture on the cover of the DAA book and also for his legendary “Fucques les Balles’-parties and his ‘Black Tea Party’ in Paradiso. His parties are know for their extravaganze and freedom. Absurdity and individual appearances are key to his Black Pool Party on Milkshake.   The entree for this spectacular event will cost only 25 euros in pre-sale. The sales have allready started at their website: www.milkshakefestival.nl.  
16th of March 2012
  Tonight is the night we’ll all be partying against AIDS! See you at Red and Blue for a fabulous fashion show by Björn Borg Antwerp and one hell of an afterparty! Doors open at 22 PM, show is at 11.30 PM, see you there!   More info: www.partyagainstaids.com  
27th of February 2012
  Planned Parenthood launched a really fun campaign called “Where Did You Wear It?”. They ask users to scan their QR-coded condoms to create a map of places where safe sex happens. This way the organization helps young people realize safe sex happens (and should be happening) everywhere and hopefully the campaign helps normalizing the use of condoms to make users feel proud to wear protection.   How does it work?   You can “check in” using the GPS on your scanning devices when scanning the condom and submit your locations to the site. The site will use the information to create a map of places where safe sex is happening. Each check-in earns a new spot on a map that you can tweet to your followers or post on your Facebook wall. You can search the map by gender, age, location, type of relationship and other constraints. Don’t be shocked if there are some naughty things going on in your street - at least they will be safe there!   What about privacy?   The creators of the campaign believe that the use of social media will help the young, sexually active generation to feel comfortable promoting safe sex in stead of being embarrassed to publicly talk about it. But of course sex is still a private matter, the organization realises that and takes care of the couples' privacy. The dot that appears on the map when someone enters his or her adress is randomized plus or minus three or four city blocks, so it’s not placed exactly at their house/address.     Let’s hope that the site removes the perceived stigmas about the use of a condom and promotes discussions within relationships about it.    See where other smart, sexy and responsible people are using protection at http://www.wheredidyouwearit.com/  
26th of February 2012
For all you hip hop fans, Lil B made an Aids awareness song! Check it out!
21st of February 2012
On February  8th I traveled to Rotterdam for the launch of the Dutch DAA X EASTPAK Artist Studio 2012 project at the Raw Art Fair. I went to give a speech on what the project was about and the kind of work that Designers against AIDS does. Now here is a short video rendition of the experience involving Cocksicles (ice cream in a truly special shape), Hypnotising Robots, Barbwired Backpacks and Safe Sex... All happening at the launch of DAA X Eastpak artist studio at the Raw Art Fair in Rotterdam...Check it out!!!!   
14th of February 2012
Today I received this very touching letter from a friend/photographer from Brussels and he wanted me to share this with all of you. We hope that it will inspire you to be safe(r) from now on- HIV is closer than you think and until there's a cure... Well, you know the story, or at least you should!   Dear Ninette,I'm J. ,  a 34 year old guy from Brussels. Years ago i worked briefly with you on a photoshoot for DAA with Evisu Jeans for the project Designers Do Denim! I have been following (from a distance to be honest) your work for several years now.  I wanted to tell you this because I think it's important and i feel it's necessary.A couple of months ago I started dating this boy.  About a month after our first date (and several dates later) we discovered he is HIV+. We have been "safe" from the first sexual contact but nevertheless fear overpowered me.  Fear of being infected myself, fear of not being able to cope with the situation, fear of losing him …On the other side this situation has opened up my eyes. It made me realise that a lot of people in my close circle (myself included) don't really have a clue what being infected means and how it impacts your life. HIV has always been something we heard of (and even grew up with) but it never touched anyone close to me!  If you realise that I've been in the Brussels gay scene for over 15 years and you look at the statistics this is very strange/not realistic (or maybe my friends and i are very fortunate).  The fact/fear that a lot of people don't know themselves that they are infected is alarming! It is only now that I truly understand that prevention and education about HIV/AIDS still  are SO DAMN IMPORTANT.  Also making clear that there still is NO CURE for AIDS and that it's not just some chronic disease you live with - and that the best cure is still PREVENTION and AWARENESS. I know this is maybe a little unconventional but I want to help! DAA is an organisation close to my own world as a photographer and that's why I write to you. If you ever need my services, please don't hesitate to contact me so we can work things out.I'm very aware that this letter is a little emotional and 'out of the blue' but for me it is important to send it to you. Even if it is only to tell you that i have a tremendous respect for your achievements and your will to FIGHT and EDUCATE more and more and more!Sincerely,Jx
29th of December 2011
  Last week I went to meet people from the Crimean Republic center for HIV-infected youngsters and children, situated in Pochtovoe, Ukraine. Before going there, I tried to find some information about this Center online, but I found just a few records of them in articles with official statistics or state documents. No pictures, no references, but enough contacts to call and get an appointment. Pochtovoe is a distant village close to the Crimean mountains with bus and railroad connections to the nearest cities Bahchisaray and Simferopol. Looking at the village, I expected the Center also to be destroyed and poor. But I was wrong. Everything looked nice. The Crimean Republic Center for HIV-infected youngsters and children was founded by the Crimean state in September 2008. It is situated on the second floor of a local hospital and can receive up to 50 people younger than 35 at the same time. But normally the largest amount of clients, as they are called by Center staff, is up to 30 people. They are provided with meals and comfortable rooms and staying here is free and voluntary. After finishing the program, people from the Center are trying to keep in contact with former patients and help them with adopting in real every day life.   Tatiana Kokul is the Director of the Center and the diplomas on the wall behind her belong to her. She says it's not about boasting, but to set an example for youngsters who come to her office for a first talk.      Konstantin now is a social worker here. Before, he was one of the first clients of the Center. He started taking drugs at 15 and ended up becoming a homeless person, but he was strong enough to rise up again to be able to lead a normal life. Everybody who stays in the Center as a client/patient has a double diagnosis: HIV positive and injection drugs abuse.  At the moment, some rooms in the Center are empty because of a lack of financing. Almost everywhere, you can see pictures drawn by youngsters, who lived there.   "We want to live" Normally, patients refuse to show their faces and look suspicious at strangers, but you don't have to ask them a lot to understand how different and hard their lives are.  This is the youngest client here, she lives together with her mother in the Center. They are both seropositive and have no other place to go. This sad story is much happier than hundreds of similar ones in Ukraine, as at least, they have a roof above their heads and friends who are trying to help. Many of them are finding help in faith.   This Center does not only need financing, but also volunteers, who can help with this hard work -the Center does not mind to host foreigners. Are you interested to help? For any questions you can always contact me by email: elephant-studio@yandex.ru Or Tatiana Kokul: cvdm@mail.ru
14th of December 2011
The DAA office, along with all our other quirky paraphenalia, will be moving for the holidays to our new Pop Up Shop at Kleine Markt 10 /Kammenstraat in Antwerp, right accross from hotspot Berlin (see google map http://g.co/maps/qguh2) and close to Nationalestraat and the MoMu fashion museum. Thanks to Huis Happaert (www.huishappaert.be) we can use this incredible location for the next 6 weeks!From the 16th of December on, the store will be open from 12 - 6.30 PM every Wednesday to Saturday -and on selected Sundays- until the end of January On offer will be.. Special pieces from our first 4 Fashion Against AIDS collections with H&M (click here for a visual reminder) A selection of pieces from our current 'DAA by JBC' collection The DAA Book, which features images of a lot of our collaborations.. notably Tokio Hotel for all the TK fans out there (shown here) Delvaux Love Pouches designed by Véronique Branquinho Some very special scarves created by well known Belgian fashion designers The by now infamous DAA Festival T-shirt and the 'Wrap It Up Before You Fuck It Up' tee, both for girls and boys and perfect pressies to put under the Xmas tree A 1€ corner with DAA and ILAH condoms.... lots and lots of them (but no lube unfortunately... you'll have to pick that up at a chemist), ILAH posters and DAA pins/badges A rack of designer items from labels such as Current/Elliott, American Vintage, Dries Van Noten and more If you're not interested in snatching up a bargain, please stop by anyway and say hello!
9th of December 2011
A few days ago, a boy named Jonah Mowry, posted a video on YouTube which has already reached a million hits.Jonah's story, told on hand written cards placed infront of the viewer one by one, describes how he has been bullied since 1st grade. He describes the names he's been called, his suicide attempts, how he doesn't like himself and his utter fear in starting 8th grade next month. Jonah's video is a simple attempt at raising awareness about bullying, and in particular, gay bullying because of his sexual orientation.Watch the video here The most impressive aspect to this individual attempt at speaking out, is the immediate and explosive reaction from his empathisers. So far we have found numerous responses to Jonah's outcry. This is a social media phenomenon that is worth getting across and worth contributing to.Here are some of the 'make you want to shed a tear' reactions to Jonah's video on YouTubehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zd23lcUZJQM&feature=relatedhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-huPai1Srk&feature=relatedhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttpHgO5bv2E&feature=relatedhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFVvBgLjnW8&feature=relatedhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0s7vrxXHcSg&feature=share http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWog7phsQ90&feature=relatedIf you don't want to create your own video of support you can follow Jonah on twitter https://twitter.com/jonahmowryreal and support him on facebook http://www.facebook.com/Support4JonahMowryThe saddest thing about this one boy's plight is that this is not an issue contained in the school playground. Worldwide we are seeing many governments sticking to homophobic laws that disrespect human rights. Nigeria's senate has just voted in favour of a law criminalising same-sex marriage, St. Petersburg became Russia's second city to prohibit so-called propaganda of "sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism and transgenderism, and pedophilia to minors". If our governments aren't getting it right, it makes you wonder how school children can ever be expected to.  
9th of December 2011
  467 HIV tests in one day is the number to beat from now on.This number was reached last Thursday on World AIDS Day (December 1st) and was jointly achieved by the 56 Dean Street clinic and G-A-Y, at the G-A-Y Bar on Old Compton Street in London, UK.The clinics were using the rapid HIV test which can give results within 60 seconds. By pricking one's fingertip to extract a small amount of blood, the test checks for the immune system's reaction. It can also detect HIV after only 6 weeks of infection, a much shorter time period than the usual 3 months. To get more clued up on rapid testing have a look at the CDC website here.Interestingly, only a small percentage of people worldwide who have access to HIV testing are getting tested. Why is that?The rapid test is quick and effective and you can know your HIV status immediately (or at least your status of 6 weeks ago) so what is stopping people from regularly getting tested?Unfortunately there are still many barriers people need to overcome, for instance knowing where to get tested, concerns about how much it will cost, the fear of finding out, denial,....If you are going to get tested, have a think about what those barriers would be for you, then take some time to consider the ramifications if you DON'T get to know your status while having unprotected sex, share needles or practicing other risky behaviour.Which city will beat London's record? Maybe it will be yours?  
2nd of December 2011
Although we think everyday is World AIDS Day... yesterday really was World AIDS Day and hence a doubly significant day in the DAA calendar. 30 years on from the first AIDS diagnosis and you could spot the DAA flair at WAD events in Antwerp, Brussels and London.   Andy, our UK volunteer hit up City Hall with the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and HIV activist Annie Lennox. The focus was on 'Life in my Shoes', a youth led campaign aimed at bringing greater understanding to young Londoners about what life is like living with HIV.   Ilana, Clizia and Alexandra (the latter two who you may remember from the IHAEC blog) attended a World AIDS Day benefit concert at De Roma in Antwerp. We were hanging out with other HIV focused organisations Sprinkle, Sensoa and Het Roze Huis to provide the educational part of the evening. Luckily Roland, Helmut Lotti, Roy Aernouts, Sioen, Flip Kowlier and Amanda Strydom were there to perform thus catering to the musically hungry locals. We had some keen interest in the new Delvaux X DAA love pouch, a beautifully crafted leather slip for your condom, especially from the ladies (see our facebook pics). For those who missed out, they can be purchased at Delvaux stores or at their e-shop   Finally, Ninette and Peke found themselves at Flamant in Brussels for a stylish cocktail party with lavish furniture and an even more lavish cocktail buffet. However, it was not all about the food, Ninette (DAA's founder) gave a heartfelt and honest speech about the need to scale up HIV awareness in the media and the importance of HIV prevention to flatten Belgium's increasing HIV incidence. For a preventable disease in developed countries, there really are no more excuses.   Everyday is WAD, DAA xxPhotos from De Roma, AntwerpPhotos from Flamant, Brussels
30th of November 2011
I DONT LIKE MONDAYS is proud to present its newest IDLM GALLERY project – a series of conceptual, handwoven bodypieces by couture milliner HEATHER HUEY. The newest entry in this charitable series will premiere on November 30, 2011, at www.idontlikemondays.us.HEATHER HUEY’s innovative designs for this effort represent new territory for the established hatmaker. Her pioneering designs have appeared in editorials by Mert and Marcus, Steven Klein, Karl Templer, and Patti Wilson for publications such as Italian Vogue, W, French Numero, and Harper’s Bazaar. With the inception of her IDLM GALLERY project, the public now has the opportunity to access the next step in her singular vision while contributing to a charitable cause. Each of the five limited-edition styles offers an innovative and timeless wardrobe staple with a philanthropic pedigree.The IDLM GALLERY is an evolving project focused on offering true rarities of fashion and supporting the creators behind them. Each collaboration provides an exclusive showcase for one-of-a-kind or ultra-limited edition garment art, with 50% of sales being donated to the charity organisation DESIGNERS AGAINST AIDS. As I DONT LIKE MONDAYS always aims for designers who push the boundaries of fashion, these artists go one step further and blur the lines between art and apparel.I DONT LIKE MONDAYS, INC.    |    157 BOWERY #3A NY NY 10002    |    T/F (646) 559-2046    |    INFO@IDONTLIKEMONDAYS.USWWW.IDONTLIKEMONDAYS.US      
23rd of November 2011
The Clever Dick website for gay and bisexual men living in the UK went live today https://www.clever-dick.org/The highlight of the website is a simple survey which you can complete to ascertain your Sex Score. Your Sex Score is a measure of how risky your sexual behaviour is in terms of becoming HIV positive or passing the virus onto someone else. It's simply executed and great to see a tool that also speaks to people living with HIV who are concerned about passing on the virus to others, not just the usual "am I at risk?" communications. Respect for yourself... respect for your lovers... life need not be complicated under the covers. (I promise the rhyme was not intentional).The site also provides a downloadable all you need to know guide on condoms and lube, especially which types of condoms (latex, non-latex etc) and which types of lube (water, oil, silicon etc) can be friends and which ones should steer well clear of one another.  Are you a clever dick? Take the test here https://www.clever-dick.org/YourSexScore
17th of November 2011
This month, DAA caught up with fashion graduate Evelyn Lebis, one of the four founding members of Saturday Light Fever, a synergistic collaboration between two left and two right brainers, to discuss their latest project. Evelyn Lebis and Laura Clausen, completing their Master in Fine Art at the Swedish School of Textiles, began Saturday Light Fever as a means to experiment with their passion for and fascination with light. They started to meet weekly on a Saturday night and hence this became the impetus behind the name. When their combined passion led them to the world of thermochromism, substances that can change colour when there's a change in temperature, they realised they needed leftbrainers on board. In walked Javier Fereira Gonzalez and Ruben Buendia, doctor candidates in Biomedical Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm to plug the technical gap. Coincidently (though not so coincidently for us as we are writing this blog), their latest project are t-shirts designed for DAA.The t-shirts utilise smart textiles (materials and structures that sense and react to environmental conditions or stimuli) such as the heartprint tees in yellow and green which change colour according to the wearer's body temperature. In so doing, they aim to make the wearer and the viewer more aware of their bodies.This is a key message for HIV prevention as in developed countries we are all guilty of reducing HIV to a disease and still seeing seropositivity as a death sentence. The piece that's missing in current HIV communication is much more general. The answer: body awareness. If we're educated about HIV we're disease focused and if we're uneducated, we're unaware full stop. If we're body aware ... we may be more empowered to make the decision for ourselves. If we're body aware we can ask ourselves whether we want to have unprotected sex and whether we want to share needles and whether we want to do whatever we can do to stop transmission between two people. We hold the power and hence the outcome, not the virus. To support the entrepreneurial four you can purchase their designs by emailing Evelyn on 000egl000@gmail.comIf you also want to collaborate on a creative project with DAA contact us on info@designersagainstaids.com
14th of November 2011
We sure do. Less than a month ago locals were entertaining themselves at Antwerp Central Station and participating in a virtual pillow fight against top model Hannelore Knuts. If you participated, you can still find a video of yourself trying to beat Hannelore Knuts at her own game on the JBC website  http://daa.jbc.be/ If you didn't participate, you can still go to the JBC website and have a laugh at the DAA volunteers bashing it out. Or have a laugh at some of the attached photos. We certainly did. The DAA by JBC collection is now available in all JBC stores. And this week only (!!!) you can bid on 6 customised items (done by us, the 3 IHAEC students!) from this collection on ebay http://www.benl.ebay.be/sch/designersagainstaidsbyjbc/ Remember that by buying these outfits you'll donate to IHAEC.
28th of October 2011
After the pillow fighting mayhem that took Central Station by storm on Tuesday, the students who have been hard at work for the past 2 months preparing the ‘DAA by JBC’ collection launch finally had some downtime. Smiles wide with achievement, the students headed back to the IHAEC center in Deurne (where students from all over the world volunteer their time conceptualising and later implementing an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign) and plonked themselves at the kitchen bench to reflect on the day. However, the downtime they had wasn't quite what they were expecting as hanging about the kitchen as well was Belgian model Hannelore Knuts, DAA ambassador and face of the new ‘DAA by JBC’ collection! She introduced herself to the students with radiant warmth and apologised for not having time to chat to them at the station earlier that day. They all sat at the counter, Hannelore with elbows nestled on the table and leaning forward with interest while the students discussed their experiences putting the campaign together and their future plans now that the hard work at IHAEC was over. Hannelore also had an opportunity to discuss how she came to be an ambassador for DAA, after a long standing friendship with DAA's founder Ninette Murk coupled with a growing interest in helping build HIV awareness. Veniamin showed Hannelore the film he had been working on that documents the students’ journey since arriving at the IHAEC center, Clizia shared the beginnings of her own fashion label with Hannelore, while Alexandra was particularly interested in learning that the virtual pillow fight projection used in the campaign was filmed in her own hometown Barcelona. Hannelore's casual manner and warmth wasn't quite what the students were expecting but came as a welcome addition to their much needed downtime. As Hannelore was leaving, she mentioned Facebook as a great way to stay in touch. After a moment’s pause, she let out a large chuckle having just remembered her friend limit had already been reached. Way to go, Mark Zuckerberg. However, her 5000 friends came as no surprise to the students, who spent the rest of the day talking about how wonderful it was to meet her!    
10th of October 2011
    Popular rapper Lil’ Wayne recently debuted an official music video for his single “How to Love.” The video tells the story of a young girl in two alternate life scenarios. In one situation, the girl is born to a physically and emotionally abused mother. As a baby, she watches as her mother’s lovers beat her, grows to see them sentenced to jail, and is even sexually molested herself. In adulthood, she then falls into a life of prostitution. The most disturbing yet brutally realistic scene takes place in a doctor’s office when the young woman receives the news that she is HIV positive. She immediately breaks down, showing the harsh reality of the fatal disease.However, the contrasting universe is then revealed as the girl’s life reel is re-winded and played back. This time, at a young age, she sees her mother choose a different path and marry a man who loves her. The girl follows in her footsteps by making good choices. In the closing scene, the girl is again in a doctor’s office, however, she is now told the obviously joyous news that she is pregnant.The video shows the value of healthy sexual and emotional relationships and the importance of safe sex. In an MTV article, director Chris Robinson explains, “The concept is more a narrative. It’s a story about two paths in someone’s life and how one small choice that you make can affect your whole life.”   We at DAA would like to add the following: Lil' Wayne certainly tackles the tough stuff in his new track 'How to Love'. In his 'choose your own adventure' style clip, a young woman caught up in an abusive relationship is diagnosed HIV positive. However, had she chosen to turn to page 46 instead of 12 she experiences a respectful and healthy relationship... and the video concludes with her doctor happily notifying her that she's pregnant. The message is simple: that we all deserve to have happy and healthy relationships and that's exactly what we should strive for. However, it's important to underline that an abusive partner doesn't equal HIV and vice-versa. Anyone who has unprotected sex with a partner has a chance of contracting HIV.On the whole though, it's great to see snippets of HIV and relationships being raised in popular culture, especially by tough rappers like Lil' Wayne- we hope to see more of it, as we believe this is an important way to inform their fans!
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