The Positive? Awareness of and Attitudes to HIV in the UK project is the third phase of a three-part programme that sees the development and dissemination of a multi-media educational resource and campaign package for schools to promote HIV awareness and stigma reduction. The kit will be used as a curriculum based product in 6,500 schools in the UK, as well as at a host of round table events with the Department of Education, and national screenings across the UK for ‘National Schools Film Week’.
The robust findings from the People Living with HIV (PLHIV) Stigma Index in the UK provided the first systematic evidence that documents PLHIV’s experiences of stigma. The findings have significant implications for policies and practices, including those relating to HIV, as well as health services, poverty, employment, education, social attitudes and immigration. HIV related stigma is well recognised as a hurdle when addressing prevention and care, and creates a stumbling block in ensuring access to essential services. This phase builds on the results and activities in Phases I and II by focusing on schools, young people and teachers to build and promote social change and justice across every school in the UK, with an initial catchment of 6,500 state run schools.
The project seeks to educate young people about the impact of stigmatizing attitudes and beliefs around HIV in the UK. By focusing the development of an ‘HIV stigma-free’ generation the project seeks to improve the quality of lives of PLHIV as well as those most vulnerable to stigma (including men who have sex with men, sex workers and people who use drugs). The project also seeks to enhance the knowledge, awareness and attitudes of young school goers in the UK by providing informed, engaging, and accurate information about sexual and reproductive health and about HIV. In so doing the project also seeks to support more effective stigma-free HIV prevention in schools.
A grant of £40,000 by MAD Trust will:
- Develop a multi-media anti HIV stigma educational resource and campaign for schools;
- Advocate for improved health and social services and policies to support people living with HIV by strengthening regional and national platforms to address the various layers of HIV related stigma;
- Pioneer and model best practice to enhance the support for the global Stigma Index initiative.
The Make A Difference Trust is proud to partner with the main players in this programme, which are IPPF, Film Education and MAC Cosmetics. The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. IPPF is a worldwide movement of national organisations working with and for communities and individuals. Film Education is a BAFTA award winning company that has been producing ground breaking multi-media resources for educators since 1984 and Immaculate Films, who produced the documentary film ‘Give Stigma The Index Finger’ highlighting the process of implementation of the Stigma Index. MAC Cosmetics has a long history of supporting HIV organisations and have distributed more than $100,000 through its Viva Glam trademark. MAC has supported The Make A Difference Trust through product supply at events such as West End Eurovision and West End Bares.