More people than ever are living with HIV in the UK, with 6,000-7,000 cases diagnosed every year. Ignorance is also rife, as various myths about infection continue to circulate. National AIDS Trust (NAT) exists to fight such ignorance and asked us to help raise its profile, awareness and funds on World AIDS Day.

A myth busting campaign

But first, we laid some strategic foundations. We helped NAT pinpoint its unique role in the sector, as a thought-provoking and trusted authority on HIV and AIDS. This understanding provided a clear strategy for campaigning and communication. Busting myths and challenging stigma and discrimination became the main focus for the campaign.

Next, we developed a campaign theme that grab attention and be easily shareable through social media channels: ‘Think Positive: Rethink HIV’. This provided the sign-off and call to action for a series of myth-busting messages delivered in a bold, impactful and instantly recognisable campaign style.

We provided a campaign toolkit and support for social media. The simple hashtag #RethinkHIV gave people the chance to own the message themselves and tell their personal stories to help educate and change perceptions.

#RethinkHIV

The hashtag was used 11,400 times throughout the campaign – a significant increase on the 2014 campaign’s 2,694 impressions. This gave a reach of 173.9 million people – an increase of over 800% on the previous year. However, the greatest outcome was that it gave a voice to HIV positive people. The hashtag was used across a whole range of applications, from body painting to cake decorating, and gave individuals the chance to use the message to tell their own stories.

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