Pittsburgh — Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force (PATF) launches its #standOUTpgh campaign to combat LGBT stigma, prevent substance abuse, and promote HIV/AIDS prevention among young men who have sex with men (MSM) of color and transgender men and women. The campaign will be based online at www.standout.hiv.


The #standOUTpgh campaign is a web-based interactive, new media driven initiative to defeat stigma and promote HIV/STD testing and prevention by celebrating and promoting participant uniqueness and responsibility by documenting and posting photographs, videos, and blog posts via new and emerging media platforms used by young minority MSM and trans persons.


These digital expressions will be tagged and monitored (#standOUTpgh) with monthly spotlights on the most active users/posters at www.standout.hiv. The emerging online community will drive real world testing and education at 5 events built around existing national awareness days that focus on HIV/STD testing and prevention. Participants’ experiences with these events will then recycle back into online content to continue the conversation. The project will engage other service organizations and the larger community in spreading awareness and understanding about a broader spectrum of gender expression and sexuality and the risk management styles that work best through different socioeconomic, racial, and interpersonal environments.


“Stigma is often the largest barrier for LGBT and minority individuals in seeking out HIV/STD testing or prevention options”, says campaign coordinator John Easter, “we want to fight that stigma by elevating these individual’s uniqueness and hopefully creating greater acceptance within the larger community.”


Youth aged 13-24 years have some of the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections, especially among LGBT minorities, and transgender women of color have the highest percentage of new HIV-positive test results among all races/ethnicities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As the oldest and largest AIDS service organization in southwestern Pennsylvania, PATF is dedicated to supporting and empowering all individuals living with HIV/AIDS, and to be relentless in preventing the spread of infection. PATF is a leader in providing comprehensive support services that improve the health and quality of life for those living with HIV/AIDS in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland counties. For more information, please contact Jason Herring at 412-345-0596, jherring@patf.org or visit www.standout.hiv.


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