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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In the golden age of social media, some might consider a poster campaign outdated.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.

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Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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