Upcoming FREE Workshops:
The next round of the project for 2017 will focus on the stories of long-term survivors of HIV/AIDS and potentially on those of people who have recently been diagnosed, as a way of exploring the relationships between these two communities.
With funding from a private family foundation and the Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center, and in partnership with several organizations, StoryCenter is working with people living with HIV, to support them in finding, telling, and creating their own digital stories. The emphasis is on personal healing, as well as on galvanizing communities to challenge stigma and educate the public about often-overlooked dimensions of the larger HIV/AIDS narrative.
Key partners for 2016, our first year, included the Colorado Chapter of the Positive Women's Network, The Empowerment Program, which serves women living with HIV who have also been formerly incarcerated, and the Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center. These organizations are helping to design the program and recruit participants for workshops. Several staff at both organizations have also participated in workshops, as supporters and as storytellers.
The project partners are currently writing an online toolkit to accompany the stories, designed to help those who use them do so in ethical and productive ways that foster productive dialogue about the issues they raised raise. With the goal of reducing stigma in the general public and encouraging people who may not know they are living with HIV to get tested, the partners are also sharing the stories through social media campaigns.
TOPICS COVERED IN THE STORIES INCLUDE:
- Dealing with stigma from family members
- Dating post-diagnosis
- Strength and personal acceptance: loving oneself and standing up for oneself and others
- Working with women with HIV, and how they have made case workers better people (stronger, more aware, more informed, and more accepting)
- Getting through the initial physical and emotional pain of testing positive
- HIV as a wake-up call for improving one's life
- Being born with HIV (caught between parents' fears of stigma, and one's own acceptance of HIV as a natural part of existence)