This week Casey House launched #Smashstigma 2020 as a part of their ongoing effort to ignite conversation around the stigma that people living with HIV/AIDS experience. In 2017, they kicked off the #smashstigma campaign with June’s, the world’s first HIV+ Eatery and in 2018 opened Healing House, the world’s first HIV+ Spa. Both award-winning campaigns gained global attention and increased awareness around stigma and HIV.

The third iteration of #smashstigma focuses around the power of pop culture and how it can impact stigma.  To spur conversation and pique interest in the topic of stigma they rewrote two iconic sitcoms, Friends and The Office, and gave a lead character HIV to showcase and amplify real stigma experienced from an HIV diagnosis, tackling disclosure in a workplace and with family and friends. As with the previous two campaigns, they have supplemented the message with a national survey about attitudes towards, and comfort around, HIV. Once again, the results are unsettling, showing there is still a lot of work to do.

Videos for Casey House’s #Smashstigma 2020 are available exclusively at smashstigma.ca.  Also available are six short documentaries of people living with HIV talking about their experiences with stigma amongst family and friends. Casey House is incredibly grateful to these peers for sharing their stories in service of helping us smash stigma. Click here to visit smashstigma.ca