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This poster is HIV-positive. The people who read it are instantly touched.

Information truly is the cure for ignorance. That's why each one of these posters comes with a single drop of dried blood.

This poster is HIV-positive. The people who read it are instantly touched.
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Don't have time to watch the full video? Here's a little recap:

They're not just living with HIV. They're also living with the stigma of HIV.

According to the World Health Organization, at the end of 2013 close to 35 million people were living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. Thankfully, numerous medical advancements now allow people with the virus to continue living normal, happy lives. But there are still tons of people who are confused about how the virus is transmitted. And for HIV-positive folks like Micaela, that can lead to some pretty painful encounters.


All images via Ogilvy Brazil.

A powerful ad campaign is changing how people think about HIV by putting the virus right in front of them.

In the golden age of social media, some might consider a poster campaign outdated. But these posters, designed by Ogilvy Brazil for the NGO Life Support Group (GIV), have something a little different. Each one comes with a tiny drop of blood.

"My measurements are 40 by 60 centimeters. I was printed on high brightness paper. And my weight is 250 grams. I'm just like any other poster. Except for one thing: I'm HIV positive. It's exactly what you've just read. I'm living with the virus. At this point you may be taking a step back, wondering if I offer any danger." — The HIV-Positive Poster

But the beauty of this project is that it taps into the discomfort the reader might be feeling at the prospect of even looking at a piece of paper carrying HIV. Dr. Artur Kalichman, the coordinator for the São Paulo AIDS Program, not only shoots down those fears but proves why this campaign is so important.

"The poster is completely harmless. The blood has already dried. The HIV can't survive long outside the human body. Because of the treatment, the blood of the volunteers can't infect anyone. Besides ... HIV is not transmitted by poster." — Dr. Artur Kalichman

Once the posters hit the streets of São Paulo, the impact was felt almost immediately.

As people interacted with the posters throughout the city, something wonderful began to happen. People reached out and touched the poster, going straight for the drop of dried blood. One man even kissed the poster, sharing, "I felt love for this person I don't even know." But by far the most powerful moment is seeing how people respond when given the chance to meet the HIV-positive people behind each drop of blood.

And, look, I know it's cliche to say this moment had me in tears, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't.

The HIV-positive poster is forcing people to confront their prejudice for real.

The above video ends with one simple but important quote: "If prejudice is an illness, information is the cure." Thankfully, innovative campaigns from organizations like GIV and Ogilvy Brazil are providing just that. While researchers continue to search for a cure, it's up to us to educate ourselves and each other to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and offer proper support to those living with the illness. For more ways to keep yourself safe and informed, check out WebMD's Top 10 Myths and Misconceptions About HIV/AIDs.

Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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