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Make HIV a part of history as a disease free of stigma that was conquered by love and compassion. Reduce the number of unknowingly infected Americans and create a better life for those living with HIV through education, awareness, and removing the stigma nationwide.
In the 1980s the United States first began to recognize HIV as a health condition threatening the lives of Americans. The rapid spread and misunderstanding caused doctors to refuse treating HIV positive patients, worldwide panic and the beginning of a stigma still around today.
At the height of the AIDS epidemic in 1987, Princess Diana challenged the public perception of HIV and AIDS by walking into an AIDS clinic and shaking the hand of a man suffering from the illness. Despite guidance from doctors to not touch patients without gloves she made a decision driven by compassion and understanding rather than fear and ignorance.
A staggering 1 out of 7 Americans are unknowingly infected with HIV.
Shaking Hands will promote conversations about the importance of knowing your status and having conversations with your doctors and partners before intimacy.
Educating the public about HIV is just the beginning of supporting those living with the disease. Shaking Hands will aid the community through support groups, supplying resources for the newly infected and supporting individuals and families going through HIV treatment.