Greater Than AIDS: Ask, Watch & Learn
Launched in 2009, Greater Than AIDS (greaterthan.org) is a multi-campaign response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States. Focusing on the areas and people most affected, its website and presence across major social media provide easily accessible HIV/AIDS information, advice and support.
The site lists five ways to be Greater Than AIDS. Spanish speakers can find Cinco Formas para ser Más Que SIDA at greaterthan.org/cinco-formas/.
● Know – Get the facts about HIV/AIDS.
● Talk – Start the conversation.
● Protect – For you and those you love.
● Test – Know your status.
● Treat – Stay healthy; protect others.
On the website, each of these items breaks out, as desired, into pages with more detailed information.
YouTuber celebs Todrick Hall, Bob the Drag Queen, Davey Wavey, Zackary Drucker, Amber’s Closet and Catrific entertain and educate with new informative beats found here: greaterthan.org/HIVBEATS/. Take a minute to watch.
Greater Than AIDS has produced a third installment of its informative YouTube series entitled #AskTheHIVDoc. The name serves as both a title and hashtag for searching and categorization. This year, physician Leandro Mena joins the two other doctors, Demetre Daskalakis and David Malebranche, to answer your questions about HIV. The English language playlist (goo.gl/TMwaKF) contains dozens of videos and the Spanish channel (goo.gl/qxDfaP) contains 11.
All the videos are short and concise. You could watch them one at a time or view the entire playlist in one sitting. The threesome answers questions like, “What are the symptoms of HIV?” “How often should I get tested?” “To douche or not to douche?” “What’s the deal with lube?” “What is viral load?” “How can I identify scam treatments?” “What is prophylaxis?” “He says he’s undetectable…?” “What is switching?”
“Sometimes we get driven by the fear of what could happen. Flip that and think of the positive things: This could open up a whole conversation,” explains Malebranche about sharing your HIV status with your partner.
The Greater Than AIDS website also allows you to find local HIV/AIDS services, including testing centers near you.
National HIV Testing Day
National HIV Testing Day was June 27. Although there is a concerted effort to raise awareness about HIV testing around this day (goo.gl/sxCxiK), any day can be your testing day. Take a moment to look up a testing site near you and go get tested. You can find a testing site lookup widget on the greaterthan.org website or at aids.gov. Several area agencies provide free or low-cost testing.
Common places for testing are city and county health departments, AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs), dedicated testing centers and organizations concerned with community health. Counseling is an essential part of testing. Ask about this as you choose a location.