We launched Life and Love with HIV in July 2018 at the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) with the goal of shifting the dialogue around HIV to a more affirming place.
We’ve had many successes in our first year:
- We hired and mentored six feature women writers living with HIV from around the world, including Kenya, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, US, and the UK. Each writer represented a unique perspective and courageously shared with us their personal challenges and triumphs of life and love with HIV.
With the support of a research editor/mentor, they wrote 29 stories on a wide range of sexual health and social justice issues, such as pleasure, orgasm, bodies, identities, trauma, resilience, dating, disclosure, self-love, motherhood, and more! It takes courage to put pen to paper; in their art, as in their lives, these writers were fearless!
With support from all of you, this small, grassroots, volunteer-run effort in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, transformed into the global platform it is today.
- 1600+ members connecting on our social networks
- 300 people visiting our website each month
- A diverse readership, including 70% women and 65% people aged 25-44 years
- From 50+ cities all over the world
Comments on blogs highlight the power of community storytelling:
- To connect emotionally to readers: “This was a beautiful empowering story that gave me chills and goosebumps.”
- To change attitudes toward dating: “As someone currently thinking of trying online dating again, this was timely.”
- To share support cross-culturally: “I love the three-date rule but will it work in Nigeria? The stigmatization is too much.”
- And to impact women’s lives and relationships: “I think stories like these are going to have a huge impact on a lot of people and bring a positive change that is long overdue.”
We are grateful to Simon Fraser University, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR, 147983), the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, and the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS who generously provided the first two years of start-up funding.
Please join us in supporting women living with HIV globally.