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World Aids Day Campaigns

Feel No Shame, We Are All Clean

Yesterday, Prince Harry announced the #FeelNoShame Campaign in which he encourages people to take to social media and share their secrets in order to combat the stigma that surrounds HIV.

Alright then, here goes. When I first played on a Super Nintendo all back when I was a wee little boy I got so hooked that I forgot to go to the bathroom. You figure out the rest. #FeelNoShame.
I’m sure that I’m going to regret putting that out there in the open.

The #FeelNoShame campaign aims to raise awareness to the stigma that comes with HIV and the difficulties in being open about the virus. Children especially find it difficult to speak up about the virus and to seek help.

In his video, Prince Harry commented that: ‘Globally, HIV is the second highest cause of death among those aged between 10-19 years old, and it is the number one cause of death across Africa. One tragic issue in particular is the shame and stigma linked to HIV. This causes thousands of children to needlessly die each year because they're keeping their illness a secret and not getting the medical attention they need.’

He went on to explain his campaign and said: ‘To show our support for the children of Lesotho, and help reduce the stigma for all those affected by HIV, we are turning this World AIDS Day into a day in which no one should feel any shame about their secrets. Together, we can tackle the stigma surrounding HIV and give the young people carrying it the childhood they deserve. The childhood so many of us take for granted.’ He’s hoping that the campaign will help boost his charity Sentebale’s progress in Lesotho as well help alleviate the stigma worldwide.

In a similar movement, Jack Mackenroth an American swimmer, model and fashion designer who was the first openly HIV positive person on a US reality show has started the #weareALLclean movement. #weareALLclean, like the #FeelNoShame campaign aims to diffuse the stigma around HIV and Aids by highlighting that having the virus does not immediately make a person dirty.

The We are all Clean movement involves people taking pictures of themselves in the shower or bath, with no explicit nudity and then uploading the pictures under the hashtag while giving a small donationMackenroth spoke about his inspiration for this campaign at the weekend: ‘I was inspired by the use of the word 'clean', especially common in gay culture, to describe oneself as STI/STD free. This implies that HIV-positive people are somehow 'dirty'.’

He went on to comment that, ‘As someone who has been living with HIV for 25 years this is very personal to me. There is current urgency for funding as we have new treatments that maintain viral suppression and render HIV-positive individuals virtually non-transmissible.’

Research towards HIV is at a turning point. There is huge progress with drugs which can actively counter the virus. But naturally, these methods still require huge amounts of funding. Mackenroth hopes to raise $1 million (£640,000).

So get in that shower and take a soapy selfie. Or, just share some of your secrets. You’ll be hard pressed to top mine. I already regret sharing that with you.

Most importantly, don’t forget to donate! It’s for a great cause

Tom has just graduated from University of East London in Creative and Professional Writing. He loves writing and is currently interning as content writer hoping to go further. His other loves include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

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World Aids Day Campaigns Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, December 04, 2014 Rating: 5
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