Competition brief: Issue research – HIV

I visited the Terrance Higgins Trust website which is a charity organisation providing information and support for those suffering from, or at risk of contracting HIV. They aim to help people who have HIV live happy and healthy lives, as well as to maximise general sexual health in the UK, minimising the spread of HIV and STIs by increasing access to local health services.

They played a huge roll in helping to change the law, enabling people to access over the counter HIV tests so people can test themselves at home. This will be in action in April 2014. They believe that increasing testing options will help reduce the amount of people who are currently undiagnosed (in the UK currently 1 in 4 people suffering from HIV do not know they are infected, 219,000 people).

The website provides so much information including statistics, support for people suffering, how to prevent infection and so on. This is the type of information I would want to include in my video, alongside information on home testing.

Streaming Well – a video organisation that communicates health, lifestyle, fitness and medical information, has worked with the Terrence Higgins Trust to co-create a series of 3 videos surrounding the issue of HIV. They are really brief, ranging from 40 seconds to 1.5 mins, and give various facts from a doctor speaking to the camera. There are a few visual aids with statistics coming up on the screen and relevant cut away shots. This is a starting point that I could build on, but being more visually creative with how I present the information, and also including up to date information (through using Mozilla popcorn) for aspects like home testing via a live feed.

I also visited the HIV-aware website, another online space which provides info and support for people around the issue of HIV. There are lots of resources, which are visually engaging, for all aspects from prevention as well as dealing with the disease.

Here are some general statistics I found on their website:
– there are about 100,000 people in UK with HIV
– 219,000 are undiagnosed
– 2/3 of people with HIV are men, 1/3 women
– Two most affected groups are: homosexual + bisexual men & black african heterosexuals.
– In 2012, 3/4 of people suffering from HIV were in these two groups.
– In 2012 just under 1/2 of those diagnosed were in the ‘late’ stage (after treatment should have already begun)
– Globally, there are 35.3 million people living with HIV
– Globally, there have been 1.6 million AIDS related deaths.

I also visited youtube, where I looked for existing material surrounding home HIV tests. Almost all of it was from the USA where this has been a practice for the past few years. The most popular videos were video-blogs of people talking about their experience with home testing kits, and how-to videos. These were pretty much all in 1st person and were informal style videos with the person chatting to the camera in a non-factual way.

There seems to be a definite opportunity for me to produce an informative interactive-video, about these tests, particularly because this is new to the UK.

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