When young designer Jacob Alexander discovered he was HIV-positive, he decided to use his skills to bust the stigma he felt still exists around the virus today. And so The Positive Project was born.
Targeting a specifically younger audience, Alexander designed a clothing line from which all of the proceeds are donated to toward HIV research for treatment, to provide better care for HIV+ patients.
“I started The Positive Project on the tide of my diagnosis last year, and ran with the flow,” Alexander said to Wonderland. “As I myself was learning as much as I could about the virus and the way it is contracted, so I could then go on to input this information in to my mobile app. Medical Professionals and other supportive peers in London’s local gay community offered support, not initially, but eventually.”
The Positive Project takes form in both an app and purchasable merchandise. The aim is to get a plus symbol in each country around the world on The Positive Project’s GeoMap on the app. The idea is to spread the right kind of positivity across the globe — seeing the positive symbol being worn in the streets, or selfies tagged on the map. The project also aims to educate its users.
“There is a special section on my app designed to provide information and answer any questions couples may have, for example. where one partner may be negative and the other positive.”
“The Positive Project aims to educate the general public, or those who choose to download the app, on the HIV Virus and all the ways you can educate and protect yourself against contracting it. Within The Positive Project app, you can watch my TEDxUAL talk and also locate your nearest sexual health clinic to get yourself checked out. I’m aiming to get a positive project selfie in every major city and continent by 25th May 2017. 25th May this year was when I came out as HIV positive and also released my mobile application, after trending on Facebook that day and seeing countless friends share my story about HIV, that’s the right kind of positive attitude I want to see surrounding HIV.
“This World AIDS Day 2016, I’d like to encourage everybody to ensure their loved ones are up to date with their sexual health screenings and if you find the time, download The Positive Project and read up on how you can protect yourself against the HIV virus, how it is transmitted. If you’re feeling extra supportive I’d like to encourage users to take part in The Positive Project and help #STOPTHESTIGMA by joining my #ALXNDRARMY to March on for Positivity!”
You can visit the Positive Project website here.