With the reality that HIV stigma continues to be a major barrier to testing, treatment and disclosure in black African communities in the UK, a leading charity is using a series of short, engaging and interactive films that challenges the viewers’ understanding of HIV.
#TheirStoryYourChoice is a series of short and interactive films launched by the Terrence Higgins Trust to educate and support viewers’ understanding of HIV. The films were funded by Comic Relief and the MAC AIDS Fund, as part of the HIV in the UK: Think Digital initiative.
Recently research shows:
- Black African women accounted for 39% of all heterosexuals diagnosed with HIV in 2017 (Public Health England, 2017).
- 69% of black African heterosexual Men were diagnosed late (Public Health England, 2017).
- As a whole, 58% of black Africans receive late diagnosis when diagnosed (Public Health England, 2017).
- There were 27,212 black African people receiving HIV care in 2017, 29% of all those receiving care (Public Health England, 2017).
Bakita Kasadha, HIV activist and writer said: “The stories are very real and they are very human. I chose to be involved in this film project because it speaks truth to the everyday experiences of black people living with HIV.”
“These stories will be met with a range of reactions and emotions, but most importantly I hope that you’ll learn something new and that you’ll be pleasantly surprised. There are lessons to be learned on all sides, whether you know your HIV status (and you are HIV+ or negative) or do not know your HIV status yet.”
At the end of each scene, viewers are asked to make choices for the characters through difficult situations like ‘When is it the right time to tell someone you have HIV?’ or ‘What do you do when you find out your partner has HIV?’
The stigma in the black community is stopping people from getting tested in fear of what others may think. Terrence Higgins Trust offers support, information as well as advice for those living with HIV and affected by HIV or poor sexual health.
Watch one of the films below: