The “Stigma Under the Lens” series is a touching collection of stories shared by people around the world who are infected with HIV. These men and women describe the fear, paranoia, and isolation they face as a result of the harsh stigma attached to being HIV-positive. These videos bring awareness to the universal nature of the emotions and fears faced by everyone diagnosed with HIV. The series, which may be a valuable tool for opening a dialogue on how to combat the fear behind the stigma, includes 8 videos, each of which is approximately 2-5 minutes long. Topics include prostitution and the use of condoms, which may not be appropriate for younger viewers.
1. Stigma Under the Lens – Joanne, UK
Joanne compares her HIV-positive diagnosis to a cloud coming over her life. She shares the reaction of her family, including how her father and sister were afraid Joanne would contaminate them while the diagnosis brought a new closeness to her relationship with her mother. Joanne struggled to overcome not only the stigma of others, but her own self-imposed stigma as well. With the support of her friends, she was finally able to let go of the stigma and regain a sense of normalcy. Joanne’s story is appropriate for younger viewers. (00:02:29)
2. The Clergy and HIV
Pernessa Seele talks about HIV and AIDs and the convergence of healthcare and the church against the disease. She discusses the importance and implementation of the Harlem Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS. As a pastor herself, Seele discusses the importance of knowing her audience and making tasteful judgment calls in gaining the support of the clergy in the fight against HIV and AIDS. This informative video focuses on proper collaboration and communication that fosters growth and change rather than stagnation because of different points of view. Due to offensive language and some talk of sex, this video would be best for mature audiences. Individuals working for and with the church would find this useful. This video is available on Danya TV, The Danya Institute’s YouTube channel for videos that cover a range of topics on behavioral healthcare. (00:04:55)
The Women’s Collective: Protection
This Women’s Collective PSA stresses using protection during sexual activity. This organization offers a variety of resources to women with HIV/AIDS and their families, including care management, advocacy, and treatment. They also promote HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness. This video, which is available on their website www.womenscollective.org, is geared toward young adults and features a young male surprising a young female with a condom as he offers to always protect her. (00:01:08)
AIDS PSA Never Ending Party 2005A
This very short PSA was created by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to warn youths against intravenous drug use that can lead to HIV and AIDS. It features young people at a party successively infecting one another. As each person is infected, they unknowingly begin sporting a red t-shirt with an “HIV+” logo. Those with AIDs logos “disintegrate” onscreen. Though this video has mature content, its purpose is to inform young people. This video could be shown to a young audience as well as individuals who work with students. This video is available at www.UNODC.org. (00:00:45)
Grim Reaper 
This controversial Australian PSA created in 1987 presents a chilling visual of the effects of HIV/AIDS on a community. Backlash against the video focused on the idea that it could be construed that the grim reaper represents gay men instead of the virus. This shocking video did help raise awareness in Australia about HIV/AIDs prevention, and it could be used in a discussion about culture, stigma, and sensitive language and depictions in media prevention efforts. This video is not appropriate for younger audiences due to its violent nature. This video is available at www.avert.org. (00:01:05)
What is HIV?
This short cartoon video explains HIV in simple terms so that even children can understand the basic concepts. This video could also be helpful to show to adults who may not know what the virus really does. This video could also be helpful for stigma reduction. When explained in terms related to the body that we all know and share, it helps to make HIV/AIDs less impersonal. This video and others about HIV/AIDs are available at www.avert.org. (00:02:20)