29th of May 2015
Hayley Young, a 28-year-old minister at Hayling Island Baptist Church, told everyone via a Youtube video that she became HIV positive after an attack. It was a shock for her, but she believed that God would give her the strength to deal with it. When her body started showing side-effects from the drugs she was using, for example hair loss, her members started asking questions. It was too emotional for her to tell her church members face to face, so she decided to do it on YouTube.  "I decided to tell the church that I was HIV positive because I tell people every day to be proud of who they are and that God loves them just the way they are, so I had to practise what I preached”   The last sentence in her video is beautiful, she says: ““In being this honest some people may judge me, walk away, not come near, because they think I’m a risk. But It doesn’t bother me. I’m the same as I was before. Just a bit more positive.”Check the video on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhewTLu9Fb4     
27th of May 2015
Seeing results after raising your voice, doing campaigns and events is the best thing that can happen. Today is that day!  HIV is one of the leading killers in southern Africa and health authorities and organisations tried to encourage safe sex for a long time. Now we finally see results! More than 100 million condoms were distributed in Zimbabwe last year, which is a huge increase on previous years. This indicates that more people were practising safe sex in the battle against HIV.  According to the National Aids Council, HIV rates in Zimbabwe have declined by 30 per cent since 2009. But the battle is not yet over, because about 1.3 million Zimbabweans out of a population of 13 million still live with HIV, with 618,980 people on anti-retroviral treatment. Condoms are freely available in public places including bars, clinics and colleges and they are handed out by community health workers in rural areas. Shops also sell them at a government-subsidised rate.   Designers Against Aids keeps fighting and we know for sure other organisations are too !   
22nd of May 2015
Thursday’s the celebrity auction from amfAR in Antibes raised in excess of $30 million for the fight against Aids. The highlight of the celebrity auction was the sale of artist Jeff Koons’ Colouring Book sculpture for 12 million euros to Russion billionaire Leonard Blavatnik.  Leonardo DiCaprio donated a work from his personal collection, worth 1 million euros,  by enigmatic British street artist Banksy and New York dealer David Benrimon donated a Pablo Picasso sketch that raised 700.000 euros and a Fernando Botero sculpture that raised 2 million euros. He said: ‘Elizabeth Taylor started the foundation and it’s saved millions of lives. Now we will have an HIV cure by 2020, I really believe that!"    Former French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld curated a glamorous fashion show, featuring the world’s top models, who sported designs from the world’s most important houses such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Chanel, Givenchy and Armani. The whole collection was bought for 800.00 euros.
21st of May 2015
A few days ago was Europe’s biggest HIV/Aids charity event, namely the Life Ball. It was the 23rd edition of the life Ball and was organized on the magenta carpet at the City Hall Square in Vienna. Gold was the order of the day and celebrities, models and drag queens galore arrived decked out in glittering frocks, chains, headpieces and body paint to enjoy décor and performances inspired by Viennese Art Nouveau.  Charlize Theron and Sean Penn presented the Africa Outreach Project, which aims to curtail the spread of HIV Jean Paul Gaultier, who made his legendary debut at the Life Ball 20 years ago, presented a gender-bending retrospective. Watch the video and experience the magic!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zx0T-UVdaeQ
19th of May 2015
This campaign is inspired by the latest campaign of Vangardist, a progressive men’s magazine based in Vienna and published in both English and German. Vangardist made a limited edition issue featuring a cover printed with HIV positive blood. Now Ogilvy Brazil did something new with this idea. When I saw this campaign I thought this was beautiful!  Ogilvy Brazil launched a campaign for the NGO Life Support Group (GIV). Each poster, placed around São Paulo contains  a drop of blood from an HIV-positive individual. Since HIV can’t survive for more than an hour outside the human body, the posters are completely harmless, the idea being to show that, like the poster, individuals with HIV are not to be feared. This is exemplified in the tagline, “If prejudice is an illness, information is the cure.”Check the movie on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58-X98to3ug  
18th of May 2015
This weekend was the Gay Pride in Belgium, Brussels. 80.000 gays and supporters from the LGBT community were present. The parade started at ‘De Beurs’ in Brussels with performances and the unfolding of the rainbow flag. Then the real party started with dozens of floats.The Belgian Pride is a celebration of diversity and equality. With this day Belgium shows that they have already achieved a lot, but that they still have a long way to go. Gay bashing still happens and there are still 72 countries were gay people get killed because of their sexual preference. The Belgian government  has committed to renew the interfederal plan against homophobia, lesbianphobia and transgenderphobia. 
15th of May 2015
New research from a World Bank-funded team in Lesotho, a tiny country in Southern Africa, investigated if they could reach individuals to persuade them to test for HIV. In Lesotho the rates of people with HIV are very high, as 40 percent of people between the ages 30 and 34 are HIV-positive.   The researchers recruited 3,427 volunteers in 29 villages. One group would come back every four months to be tested for two sexually transmitted infections that are curable. Volunteers were given small gifts to come back every four months. Another group also came back for a test every four months, but these people didn't get a promise of a small stipend. They each got a lottery ticket. And there would be a drawing every four months. Two men and two women in each participating village would get a $50 prize, which is a lot of money in Lesotho. What the researchers found was extraordinary. After two years, there was a 21.4 percent reduction in HIV infections in the lottery ticket group compared with the volunteers who got the small gifts.   The researchers want to take this idea further and want to tell all the people who are participating for a lottery ticket that if they win, they get the cash only if they test negative for HIV.  The same psychological forces that cause people to believe they're going to win the lottery are now working to tell them, "I've got to practice safe sex."  
7th of May 2015
This evening Nic's Beverly Hills will host a fashion show with a collection of clothes made from condoms and condom wrappers. This evening was organized by a group of high school students to raise money for the Aids Project Los Angeles (APLA). In addition to the condom fashion, there’ll be a special cocktail for the night, the ‘50 Shades of Rubbah-tini’.   If you’re interested in checking it out and showing your support, the night will go from 8pm at Nic’s Beverly Hills.
5th of May 2015
Choma, an online magazine for girls between the ages of 15 and 25, developed an online educational game. It is part of a whole series of interactive, online formats developed for the Choma Project to help young girls with questions about boys, sex, relationships, but also fashion, lifestyle and friendship. The online game has been available in the app store for a few weeks.   Choma was launched in October 2013 in partnership with the Charlize Theron Outreach Project and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ). At that time, HIVSA was running a few projects looking after young, pregnant and HIV-positive women. But there was no contact point for young women who were struggling with really everyday questions about love, school, health and their future. Choma is aimed at this target group, and wants to help them by way of counseling and education work.   Choma started this project because only 26percent of girls know the infectiousness of HIV and of the 400,000 new HIV infections each year in South Africa, around half are young girls between 15 and 25 years of age. Education programs have so far remained unsuccessful, as in school classes the topic receives scant attention, and those who no longer go to school can no longer be reached by those programs anyway.  At home, conversations about sex and relationships are taboo. By now, about 80 percent of all students in South Africa own a mobile phone, and use it to get online. So Choma decided to educate online.   24 hours a day, two moderators tend to the questions that the girls send in to "Ask Choma." The chat can be carried out publicly or privately and profile pictures and usernames can be designed as the girls wish, in order to remain anonymous. Once a week, Dr. Sindi gives tips on health and wellbeing on her blog. Alongside the numerous online offers, Choma is also trying to get people involved offline. For this, they offer workshops in schools and universities.     In the long run, Choma wants to contribute to an HIV-free generation, and so does Designers Against Aids! Good job Choma!
30th of April 2015
South African president Jacob Zuma has reportedly signed a controversial law which is aimed at fighting HIV. This is very important, as South Africa has the biggest and most high profile HIV epidemic in the world. Jacob Zuma, born in 1942, is the president of the African National Congress, the governing political party. Zuma has faced significant legal challenges concerning rape, corruption and fraud but the National Prosecuting Authority decided to drop the charges.   This new bill will make sure that anyone who is tested and found to be HIV positive will not only receive counselling and medication but will also be marked with a tattoo near their genital area to warn potential lovers. Jacob Zuma said: “The mark is to protect those who can’t say no to sex. I mean if you can’t read between the lines you should read between the legs because that’s where the status would be tatted.” We understand that HIV is a very big problem in South Africa, but this law won’t solve the stigma around HIV and the difference in equality between people with and without HIV. On the contrary!                  
29th of April 2015
Saatchi & Saatchi Switzerland made a new campaign for Vangardist, which is a a leading German men’s monthly. The magazine invites its readers to take a hands-on approach to end the social stigma surrounding HIV.  The campaign is made because of the event ‘Life Ball’, which is one of the biggest HIV events in the world taking place every year in Vangardist’s home town of Vienna. Vangardist will for this campaign print the front cover of 3,000 copies of its Spring issue with ink infused with HIV+ blood donated by three individuals living with the HIV virus. By holding the issue, readers are immediately breaking the taboo around HIV.   The magazine has been produced according to the most stringent controls, ensuring that the handling of a physical copy of the magazines carries no risk of infection, and is 100% safe.   The magazine is available to subscribers and will be on newsstands and online from next week.  The Facebook page launched yesterday:  www.facebook.com/hivheroes and aims to be one of the most widely visited and ‘liked’ HIV related pages on Facebook. 
28th of April 2015
Hot topic on Twitter and Facebook and big news in the medical world… I’m talking about the approval of the first legally approved HIV self-testing kit. The BIOSure HIV Self Test, which has gone on sale in the UK, will enable people to test themselves when and where ever they like. The launch of this product will empower people to discreetly test themselves when it is convenient to them and in a place where they feel comfortable.  Due to developments in treatments, HIV is now a manageable disease, but late diagnosis can have a devastating impact on health and life expectancy. With the self-test kit uses a small amount of blood from a finger pin-prick sample to detect the presence of HIV antibodies and offers a result in just 15 minutes with a 99.7% accuracy rate. All positive test results will need to be confirmed by a healthcare professional.  The SelfTest is only available online, which can also help people who are afraid of people’s judgement because it’s very discreet. In the meantime Designers Against Aids does everything possible to clear the stigma around HIV and AIDS, so that in the future people will have no shame anymore to test themselves.    
27th of April 2015
This Friday was the Designers Against Aids stocksale at Coffeelabs. People could buy our designer and vintage clothes for a good price! The event took place at Coffeelabs, which is a very cosy place to shop and of course could people afterwards enjoy the great food and drinks. You can find pictures of the event on our Facebookpage! https://www.facebook.com/DesignersagainstAIDS?ref=aymt_homepage_panelIf you missed our stocksale, it's still possible to buy your favourite item at our DAA webshop. HAVE A LOOK! 
22nd of April 2015
Different aims, messages, and strategies have strongly influenced the content and design of AIDS posters that address specific target groups. Many early AIDS prevention messages, for example, were aimed heavily at the white gay male community and intravenous drug users of all colours. But some created an atmosphere for open discussion or attempted to condemn or inspire fear. Because people understand pictures in different ways, depending on education or environment for example, and sexual behaviour is deeply rooted in culture and tradition, messages to raise awareness and encourage preventive behaviour varied depending on the intended audience. This poster, developed by the Red Hot Organization, features an image of homosexual men in an intimate pose. Recognizing that traditional health education methods were frequently ineffective, the creators of this poster use the combination of visual and textual messages to normalize and eroticize safe sex. The voyeuristic presentation works in conjunction with the message: sex can be enjoyable and safe for homosexual men.   In this poster we can see an athletic young man, which is not the typical image of someone with AIDS in the late 1980s. While the viewer may anticipate a message about sports or some other aspect of youth culture, the text in this poster provides a statement about the threat of AIDS associated with drug use. This type of image helped challenge prevailing stereotypes of drug users and at-risk populations for AIDS.   In these two posters we see that the women themselves speak to other women and tell them about their role in avoiding high-risk behaviours and making responsible decisions. These posters were part of a wider campaign conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Health and Human Services beginning in 1989, which covered various aspects of HIV/AIDS education. The viewer is left to reconcile the tension between empowerment and blame. The one poster places the blame on the man, whereas the other image places the burden on the women. The textual message combined with the posture and pose of the women also address a common tendency to be accommodating in relationships, and warn them that their partners won't always be looking out for their best interests, especially where sex is concerned. This poster from Clement Communications shows a child, which appears to be happy and healthy. But from the message we can conclude that her mother has given her AIDS. We see an emotional appeal to women, which along with the text suggests they have a responsibility beyond themselves to be tested for AIDS.   Designers Against Aids knows how important it is to reach all people with a creative, popular and a bit of a shocking campaign to attract the attention of all people. Because still too many people think ‘AIDS/HIV… something like that will never happen to me’.   
20th of April 2015
I read the article on Dazed named ‘Is fashion as gay-friendly as it seems’. I actually always thought the fashion world was very gay friendly, as it is a very open-minded world.  But when I read this article it appeared I was wrong.   Last week,  DKNY campaign stars John Tuite and Carlos Santolalla became the first openly gay couple to be signed to a major agency as a duo. Nicknamed Jarlos by their 22,000 devoted Instagram followers, the boys announced their history-making contract with New York’s Fusion on the social networking site. But considering fashion’s status as one of the most gay-friendly industries on the planet, why is this such a big deal? While the list of openly gay designers is seemingly endless, perhaps surprisingly, models are encouraged to stay well and truly in the closet.   Santolalla explains that in NYC it's pretty common practice for your agent to tell you before signing to not be 'gay' and to 'act like a man' as if being gay demeans your manhood.  Santolalla says: “There's also a very strong veil of homophobia hidden under ‘preference’... They say they want 'machismo' as if gay men aren't able to provide that. It's actually really reductive and sad.”   The reason for this all, is that the fashion world thinks that it’s always hotter when the guys are straight and people are more likely to be more into straight men. There’s a pressure for gay models to keep their sexuality a secret, in case coming out could lose them work.    But things are changing because 2015 has already proved to be a groundbreaking year in terms of casting, with models like Hari Nef, Lineisy Montero and Bhumika Arora kickstarting discussions around gender identity and diversity. The idea of ‘what makes a model’ is changing, and Jarlos aren’t the only LGBTQ models to being proud of their sexuality, no matter the potential consequences.   When the reaction of both fashion fans and the general public to models’ statements of LGBTQ pride is overwhelmingly positive there’s little reason for the industry to remain stuck in its homophobic ways. Jarlos are already seeing the positive effects of their actions. “The other day, this 19-year-old kid who's still in the closet told us that we were his first gay role models,” says Santolalla. “He found our Instagram by searching for ‘gay models’. That was pretty cool to hear, and it proves how important visibility is to bringing positive change.” Does the couple’s contract signify a tide change in the industry? “Hopefully,” says Santolalla, but “the idea that gay men aren't strong and powerful has to change in society's mind first.”   There is still much to be done, and that’s the reason why Designers Against Aids keeps battling for equality.    
15th of April 2015
The South African condom brand Lovers+ has a new advertisement that straddles the fine distinction between innocent playtime and that of the naughty bedroom variety. Lovers+ is the leading condom brand in South Africa and is known for their creative advertisements.  The new campaign is created by agency Joe Public and has to parts. Teddy bears, trains and other wholesome toys illustrate the fun you can have without a condom, while in the other part sex toys are shown and represent the kinky pleasures available with a condom.  The striking visual is further boosted by the appropriately suggestive tagline: ‘There’s a fine line between playtime and playtime’.
15th of April 2015
On the 20th of March you could already read on the blog that 2 girls from the United International Business School Antwerp came to the Education center with the demand if they could promote our online charity webshop with a special event. Now we can give you all more information about this event, as we had again a meeting yesterday with those girls.   The event will be a stocksale at Coffeelabs, where we will sell our various DAA designer and vintage products that were produced in collaboration with renowned designers and companies such as Katherine Hamnett, Véronique Branquinho for Delvaux, Zoe Karssen, Marc Jacobs for Playboy and various celebrities with a collaboration with H&M for Fashion Against Aids. Products that we are going to sell are between a price range of €1 and €200. This means that really everyone is welcome in our pop-up shop! We already showed Antwerp what we could in the past with our two pop-up shops. One at Kammenstraat, the second one in Antwerp’s city Hall and now we can present you our stocksale at Coffeelabs… so we certainly get around in Antwerp!   The stocksale will open on the 24th of April at 10 O’clock and will close at 18 O’clock. Besides the DAA products, there will also be a surprise event and people can enjoy great music while they shop. After all the shopping people can totally relax and enjoy the great drinks and the fantastic food at Coffeelabs.   I hope we will see you all there!   DAA kisses        
14th of April 2015
Designers against Aids loves projects that are trying to break down the stigma around carrying and using condoms! Terrence Kelleman, founder of DYNOMIGHTY and the creative force behind the Mighty Wallet brand, is now turning his attention towards safe sex by designing the Mighty Safe Condom Case.   Tackling the taboo of carrying condoms with lighthearted designs, Terrence Kelleman, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise awareness, funding and condom distribution. The campaign showcases the first 3 Mighty Safe Condom Case designs; Little Black Book, To Do List and Dicktionary and The Mighty Safe Condom Cases offer a new level of discretion and humor that can buffer any embarrassing moments.   The condom case’s design is discreet and looks like a small notebook, but is extremely durable, as it’s made of Tyvek. The condom case is thin, light, durable, water resistant and protects your condoms while on the go. The dangers of not using a condom are well documented, but there’s still a big misuse of condoms too, such as storing condoms in your wallet, bag or purse that can lead to malfunctions.   You can find and support this incredible project on www.dynomighty.com, Twitter (@dynomighty), www.facebook.com/dynomighty and Instagram (dynomightydesign)   There is only one thing left to say… These condoms cases are DAA Approved for sure! 
13th of April 2015
Few diseases have been more misunderstood, feared and reviled than HIV and AIDS. HIV leads to a large amount of illness and many deaths, but it’s especially unique from most other diseases because there is stigma and discrimination surrounding those affected with the disease. Public awareness is on the rise, because television shows and films featuring compassionate, nuanced portrayals of people with HIV and AIDS have helped change hearts and minds about the conditions. Still, I have the feeling that it’s difficult for the media to show people with HIV/AIDS, because of the stigma around it. Why is almost every other disease shown in television soaps and why do we see a mix of different cultures and people with different sexual preferences in those same soaps, but are they hardly ever showing someone with HIV? The transmission of HIV is extremely preventable and the media is a very effective and strong way to convey this information. The media can teach people about the disease in a way they can easily adapt in their personal lives.   For over thirty years the specter of AIDS has haunted the world and for instance devastated the gay and African American communities in the United States. We already came a long way, but we still have so much to learn about HIV and AIDS, and that’s why organizations like Designers against AIDS are working to help overcome the stigma.     And we are doing a pretty awesome job, don’t you think?
10th of April 2015
April 10th was ‘National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day’, which takes place every year on the same date to educate the public about the impact of HIV and AIDS on young people and to highlight the work young people are doing to respond to the epidemic. The theme of this year is ‘Engaging Youth Voices in the Response to HIV & AIDS’. National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD) tries to acknowledge and address the needs of young people in the HIV and AIDS response. On this day, young activists in high schools and at colleges and universities are using this day to organize and educate about HIV and AIDS. They will promote HIV testing, fight stigma, and start the necessary conversations to realize an AIDS-free generation.   It’s important that organizations like Designers against Aids and NYHAAD continue the fight against HIV and AIDS. We must continue to invest in scientific advancements like a vaccine and a cure, without forgetting the importance of prevention strategies and ensuring equal access to information and healthcare for everyone. And most importantly, we must invest in young people. NYHAAD sees these young people not only as partners, but also as leaders that can truly turn the tide of the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Because only by fully investing in young people’s health and education, we can reach an AIDS-free generation.   The NYHAAD site offered ideas and resources to support. One of these things was taking a selfie with a personal message about HIV and AIDS. Designers against Aids supports NYHAAD and that’s why we took a selfie. Check it out and also support NYHAAD!   April 9 was the final day to upload your NYHAAD selfie with #NYHAAD and #designersagainstaids for this year, but don't forget: every day should be National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day!      SAY CHEESE & KEEP SAFE!      
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