New Partners & Getting the Word Out About Aging and HIV

Happy New Year! 2015 is already off to an exciting start for The Graying of AIDS: we’re happy to announce a recent partnership with national pharmacy chain Walgreens on their new Well Beyond HIV campaign, which highlights “people aging well beyond their HIV diagnosis” to “help inspire dialogue, eradicate stigmas and amplify the voices, faces and stories of those over 50 living with HIV.”

WellBeyondHIV_screenshotAs Walgreens announced this week, “The centerpiece of the campaign is a traveling art exhibit, curated in collaboration with The Graying of AIDS, an independent documentary project and educational campaign. The exhibit provides a glimpse into the lives of older adults living with HIV and will make its first stop in Miami, Fla.”

The exhibit unveiling will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday (1/17) at Miami Beach Edition Hotel in Miami, and will be open to the public on Sunday, Jan. 18, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you’ll be in Miami this weekend, we hope you’ll come by!

Highlights from 2014: A great year for collaboration!

This opportunity to work with a company that plays an important role in the lives of many people aging with HIV/AIDS here in the U.S. is the latest in a series of terrific opportunities we’ve had to work with dedicated individuals and organizations to bring attention to HIV/AIDS prevention, testing, and treatment among older adults, as well as people’s day-to-day experiences aging with the virus. While you may have read about some of last year’s high points already, some of these partnerships may be news to you. All were thought-provoking and transformative for our project.

“Age is Not a Condom”: Larger-Than-Life Safer Sex Messaging for Older Adults
Stories from an Aging Pandemic2014 began with an exciting collaboration with our friends at ACRIA on the unapologetically sensual “Age is Not a Condom” bus shelter campaign promoting safer sex and HIV testing among adults age 50 and older in New York City. The posters could be found all around the city in both English and Spanish during Older Americans Month (May), inspiring reflection and meaningful conversations.

AIDS2014 in Melbourne
As we were finishing up production work on “Age is Not a Condom,” we received the fantastic news that we had been selected to be artist exhibitors at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia in July. With the generous support of our Indiegogo campaign donors, we were able to travel to Melbourne and work with 40 older adults who are “living positive” around the world, expanding and further diversifying our “Stories from an Aging Pandemic” series.

Magnum Photography Foundation’s Photography, Expanded Syposium
PhotoEx_FredrickaOne of the key challenges our project has been facing is how we can make our growing archive of portraits and interviews easier to access and browse for people with older computers and software, lower bandwidth, and less comfort in a digital space.

We were honored to be selected as one of four of Magnum Photography Foundation’s Photography, Expanded Lab projects and excited to work with our “lab partners” to think through possible solutions. We were paired with collaborators working in transmedia design (Christopher Taylor Edwards) and social media outreach (Anna Nolan); together, we explored some of our strengths and challenges is greater detail, and brainstormed possible next steps. To learn more about the Photography, Expanded Symposium and our “lessons learned,” watch our brief presentation and the panel discussion involving all four projects that followed – and check out some of the other amazing talks while you’re at it!

Pandemic_WordPressWhile we are newly inspired to seek additional funding to support future creative collaboration and development of a more intuitive, user-friendly web archive, for now we have migrated our site over to a more easily searchable and downloadable temporary home at www.agrayingpandemic.org. We launched this interim site on World AIDS Day and will continue to tweak and expand on the offerings there in the coming year (there are still more portraits and interviews from Australia – and longer versions of many interviews – to come!)  We hope you’ll take some time to explore this new tool and let us know how it works for you.

Many thanks to the many extraordinary partners we’ve worked with over the past year – not just the people and organizations mentioned above, but also the generous people who shared their stories with us, who donated to our Indiegogo campaign, who lent their talents and expertise to helping us think through ideas and problems, and who helped us get the word out about aging and HIV/AIDS. Amazing things happen when we work together! Here’s to more creative partnerships and collaborations in 2015!

 

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