Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP)
Contact: Chris Winebrenner (252-7489, ext. 315), wncapvolunteer@wncap.org
2/26/2010

WNCAP Honored for I Need U2 Know Campaign
  
Asheville NC, 2/26/10The Western North Carolina AIDS Project’s I Need U2 Know anti-stigma campaign has won two prestigious awards from the American Advertising Federation’s Asheville ADDY Competition. The I Need U2 Know Campaign won a GOLD ADDY award in the multi-media category. The GOLD ADDY award is recognition of the highest level of creative excellence and advances the winner to the regional competition. The campaign also won the special MOSAIC award given to a campaign that promotes diversity and issues related to multiculturalism.
 
The awards were presented on February 20th at a celebration sponsored by the American Advertising Federation of Asheville.  Shawn E. Smith, Creative Director of the campaign, accepted the award on behalf of WNCAP.  “Creative Directing the I Need U2 Know Campaign for WNCAP has been the highlight of my design career,” Smith said.  “I can think of no other project that I've been involved with that has had this much of a positive impact on people's lives. Taking the sum of my skills to help make this life experience more powerful is the reason I do this. I believe we are all responsible for one another and my association with WNCAP is a constant reminder that I am right where I need to be, contributing in the best way possible.”
 
The I Need U2 Know anti-stigma campaign focuses on ending HIV/AIDS stigma in Western North Carolina.  It features a diverse group of local people delivering the message that people living with HIV and AIDS:
 
  • Deserve to be treated with dignity and respect
  • Deserve unconditional love from their families
  • Have a right to equal access under the law to safe and affordable housing, eployment, healthcare, and education
  • Should be seen as productive members of society
  • Have a right to LIVE, just like everyone else. 
 
HIV/AIDS stigma deters people at risk from getting tested and knowing their HIV status, which contributes to the spread of the disease. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that one in five people currently living with HIV is not aware of their status.  People living with HIV and AIDS may also be reluctant to seek medical treatment because of HIV stigma. This results in poorer long-term health outcomes and an increase in medical costs for the entire community.  According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the rate of new infections in the state is more that 40 percent higher than the national average. 
 
The multi-media I Need U2 Know campaign which incorporated posters, bumper stickers, a website and pledge cards was anchored by a TV spot that aired throughout the region on Charter Cable in the summer of 2009.  Local media entities Bonesteel Films and Frank J. Bott, photographer, donated their time and talent to this project. Their involvement was instrumental in making a high-quality product that garnered the respect and attention of the general public and the professional advertising community.
 
A key element to the campaign was to collect signatures from community members, affirming their support for the rights of people living with HIV and AIDS.  To date, 1,400 signatures have been collected.  For more information about the campaign, to view the public service announcements, or to sign on in support of ending HIV/AIDS stigma, please visit www.wncap.org/iknow.
 
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Note:  Photos are available from the Asheville ADDY Awards celebration, including WNCAP representatives accepting the awards.  Contact Chris Winebrenner, wncapvolunteer@wncap.org

 
Western North Carolina AIDS Project • 554 Fairview Rd. • Asheville, NC 28803
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