The “Posithivo” Prevention Work Group (GTP+), is a non-governmental organization founded in December 2000 coordinated by people living with HIV and AIDS patients. It develops educational activities and raises awareness for the prevention of STDs and AIDS in the State of Pernambuco, Brazil.
The institution focuses it’s attention on people living with HIV/AIDS and ‘sex workers’ (men, transvestites and transsexuals) prioritizing people who are living in situations of social and economic vulnerability.
It is the first organization founded in the Northeast of Brazil by people living with HIV and AIDS, their friends and family. The population of the Northeast is approximately 53 million.
In 2010, through TIE and in partnership with local agency INATA, GTP+ developed a campaign to minimize the stigma and prejudice towards people living with HIV/AIDS and to raise awareness in Recife and adjacent cities about the vulnerability of these people.
We managed to reach the goal of the campaign by disseminating information to the general public through local media (television, radio stations and newspapers) and through bus media and distribution of posters and flyers in areas of the city of huge circulation. When the campaign was launched in July 2011 we carried out cultural activities such as theatrical skits at Casa da Cultura in Recife.
The campaign invites people to rethink their perceptions of the virus and of those people living with it. It invites people to reflect upon their attitudes and to put themselves in other people’s positions. This invitation is an effort to get people to not criminalize the lives of those living with HIV; the creative execution that has people look in the mirror and consider themselves in the shoes of those with HIV or AIDS represents this internal reflection.
The campaign also expanded its range, and in November 2011 we were invited to the national meeting in Rio de Janeiro of the Legal Counsels that work in our field of action. The campaign was relaunched in November and December 2011 (December 1st being World AIDS Day). We managed to extend the reach of our campaign to regional and national levels as well as established new partnerships with non-governmental and governmental institutions.
With regards to the people living with HIV/AIDS – they still suffer discrimination, prejudice and intolerance, but initiatives of campaigns with this purpose are necessary and must be continued.