NORWALK, Conn. -- U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) took part in an event to kick off a new national photo campaign, HIV Equal, designed to help bring about awareness of HIV and sponsored by the Norwalk-based World Health Clinicians.
Free and confidential HIV and sexually transmitted infection testing was available to all attendees at the Norwalk event as they browsed the gallery of photographs of celebrities who have taken part in the campaign's initial photo shoot. They included Himes, Broadway star Nick Adams and Tony Award-winning actor and singer Billy Porter.
The event featured drag superstar Titania Steele, DJ T-BOY and designer/Reality TV star Jack Mackenroth ("Project Runway Season 4"), who is also co-founder of the HIV Equal photo campaign.
“Our goal is to photograph people from all walks of life who support ending HIV stigma, regardless of their personal HIV status. We launched the campaign with celebrities, politicians, artists and many recognizable faces in order to draw attention to our mission, but we plan to include everyone since HIV affects us all,” Mackenroth said in a statement.
“HIV Equal goes a step further to include testing so that everyone photographed knows their status. We need to take care of ourselves and each other, as well as to reignite the global conversation about HIV to stop the spread of misinformation, fear and judgment,” Mackenroth said.
Heading the testing portion of the campaign is Dr. Gary Blick, WHC's chief medical officer. "We’re bringing awareness of HIV and HIV testing to the forefront, and smashing the stigma associated with HIV. The message of HIV Equal is that it is vital that we all know our HIV status but that we should not be judged because of it,” Blick said in a release.
HIV Equal will soon take the photo shoot and HIV testing campaign to cities across the country.
To learn more about World Health Clinicians, click here .
To learn more about HIV Equal, click here .
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