Monday, November 4, 2013

Rise Up To HIV previews new social media awareness campaign called "The U Campaign" to focus on the In Care component of the HIV Care Continuum (PHOTOS)

Rise Up To HIV is excited to preview its newest HIV awareness/empowerment campaign titled “University of U”. This campaign will highlight the treatment cascade with a particular emphasis on the in-care component. This component focuses on being in care, on medication, adhering to meds and having an undetectable viral load if HIV-positive.

The goal of this campaign is to empower individuals to talk to their doctors about treatment options in the case of a reactive (+) test, to enter into care, and to encourage individuals to adhere to their medications so that they remain healthy with an undetectable viral load. 

You can’t have a discussion about the treatment cascade without pointing out an important study. In July 2011 a study called HPTN-052 was published. The study found that those on anti-retroviral therapy (ART) who were adherent and achieved viral suppression were 96 percent less likely to pass the virus on to their partner. In the months following the treatment cascade was born.

If we are going to truly see an AIDS free generation we must get everyone tested, and those who test positive onto treatment and provide the necessary tools for individuals to access care, remain in care, and adherent to meds so that everyone living with HIV can attain viral suppression. Only then will we have a fighting chance to end the AIDS epidemic. This campaign will make a concerted effort to improve on the low percentages of people on meds, adherent to meds and virally suppressed. 

Course Curriculum:
Participants will be able to earn and display a graduate certificate in the HIV Care Continuum,once they successfully complete the necessary U-campaign credits as follows:

A total of 8 credits are required to earn the graduate certificate, completing 10 or more credits will award you the advanced graduate certificate. Coursework can be emailed to and a certificate will be issued once required coursework is submitted successfully. 

Choose any combination of credits below to reach 8 or more credits:

1) In care, on meds, adherent to meds, and undetectable  (3 credits)
2) In 2-3 sentences tell us why being on medication and undetectable is important to you (2 credits)
3) Watch the video on the treatment cascade and tell us 3 facts you learned (1 credit) 
4) Watch this video via the In-Care Campaign and tell us 2 facts you learned (1 credit)
4) Share the campaign on facebook or twitter and use the hashtag #TheUCampaign (1 credit)
5) Check out the PA Treatment Guide and name one combo and one single tablet regiment (1 credit)
6) Name the five main “steps” or stages of the HIV Care Continuum (2 credits)
7) What are 2 reasons why someone may ‘fall out of care’ (1 credit)
8) Read this 2 page guide on treatment adherence and tell us why adherence  is important (1 credit)

****Credit requirements are subject to change prior to enrollment 

Check out these pre-enrollees who have joined 'The U Campaign' and read why being on meds and undetectable is important to them. 

Anthony, 27, Diagnosed 9/2012

After the initial shock and morbid thought processes around my HIV diagnosis started to wear off, I started to think realistically about my future. For me, the choice to follow medical advice and begin medication immediately was an obvious one. People with higher viral loads have a greater risk for immune system damage that in turn leaves the body at risk for opportunistic infections. Also, having an undetectable viral load, in addition to practicing safer sex, greatly reduces my risk of transmitting the virus to my partners. As an HIV educator and advocate, doing my part to stop the spread of the disease is a top priority.

Jessica, 28, Diagnosed 08/2008

It's important for me to be on meds because being undetectable and staying healthy means I will watch my children grow up and one day meet my grandchildren.

Byanca, 20, Born with HIV

I was born with HIV and for the past 15 years I have been on medication. Taking meds has not been easy, but it’s been necessary for me to maintain my health. For me taking meds is mind over matter. As of today I am not quite undetectable, but I am not too far off.  My CD4 count and CD4 % is high! I pay attention to all my lab values, and am completely engaged in all steps of my care.

Kari, 30, Diagnosed 11/2010 

My personal health is a vital part of raising my daughter! There is so much that I want to teach her and being adherent to my medication keeps me healthy so I can be there for her. Exactly 3 years ago my doctors told me to plan my funeral. My daughter and the meds saved me! I am committed to staying healthy, my daughter has a lot of life left to live and I plan on being there for all her first, seconds and forever! She is my world!

Jason, 39, Diagnosed 10/2007

For me being on meds is a gift that allows me to focus on living my life.  So many people do not have access to meds, and I am thankful for those activists that came before me who made successful ARV a reality.  Any time I want to be mad at the medications (for nausea or the headache involved in obtaining the on a consistent basis) I remind myself that without them I would literally be dead.
Before meds, I was one of the people whose health was going downhill fast- every other day it was something else.  Having consistent access to both an awesome team of doctors as well as access to medications has allowed me to be stronger and healthier than I was even when I was HIV negative. Meds (and my undetectable viral load) literally provided me the mythical Lazarus effect.

For more information on Rise Up To HIV and the No Shame About Being HIV + campaign check out a gofundme campaign that was recently set up to raise funds with Rise Up To HIV awareness initiatives. '

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