Launching Our Viral Lives — Officially

Yes, if you click above, I’m happy to announce that Our Viral Lives has officially launched with its first story. Late last year in December, I soft-launched the site, with a highly ambitious agenda. At first, I had to scale things back because I felt I hadn’t put enough time into thinking about how to tell stories of HIV/AIDS and sexuality.

Finally, over the summer, I made tremendous progress in my thinking. Part of the process was developing a more participatory method where participants initially respond via a written message, instead of doing a face-to-face interview. There were other thoughts on ethics of interviewing, particularly when traveling abroad.

The story might not seem like a lot, but it is worth noting this is the first time the person who participated has talked publicly about being HIV positive.

I suspect a lot more young LGBTQ people are struggling with disclosing their HIV status or talking openly about their perceived risk of getting HIV. Despite all of the advances we’ve made, stigma is prevalent everywhere — from the largest metropolitan areas to small towns in rural areas. In this respect, telling stories about HIV and sexuality is vital if we want to improve HIV prevention and treatment access.

I look forward to everything that is still to come. There are several more stories here in the pipeline, just in Mexico City. And there’s still a 5 week trip to South Africa coming up.

And if you would like to participate, no matter where you live in the world, message me. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, or directly through my website. Thanks for following along throughout the journey over the past 10 months.