Participants are invited to propose awareness-raising projects aimed at fighting stigma, promoting HIV testing and educating citizens about HIV/AIDS. An independent expert committee selects the most promising proposals and Gilead Sciences Poland provides funding for implementation.
Since the launch of the fellowship program, over 400 projects have been submitted and more than 90 have been supported by Gilead Sciences Poland. Today, “Pozytywnie Otwarci” is recognised as one of the country’s most important HIV awareness programmes.
In addition to receiving a grant from Gilead Sciences Poland, winners receive Red Ribbon trophies at a ceremony on World AIDS Day and, winning projects are broadly advertised throughout Poland to maintain high levels of HIV awareness and education.
Past fellowship projects have included:
- 1600 hours of classes and workshops for people living with HIV
- 100,000 Polish students educated about HIV
- 500 HIV-educational visits in Polish night clubs
- 100 HIV videos created by Polish students
- 70 workshops for medical professionals.
These projects have been implemented in the largest cities of Poland as well as in smaller towns and holiday destinations. 2019 saw the implementation of several outstanding projects including:
- Study yourself by Fundacja Edukacji Społecznej (FES), a series of HIV testing activities during student festivals, including the FES mobile testing unit
- For the Graphic educational campaign by Grupa PONTON, a team of young graphic designers created a series of ten visuals on HIV “facts and figures” that were promoted to young people mainly on Instagram and other social media channels
- Streetcar named desire, a 15-city initiative from the International Federation of Medical Students Associations featured streetcars and buses with DJs and licensed sex educators, who visited nightclubs and pop-cultural events to educate students. The crew distributed condoms and leaflets explaining how to prevent HIV infection.
In 2020, Gilead is pleased to fund a new wave of “Positively Open” projects, including:
- Launching “HIV+ buddies”, which will inform, educate and support newly HIV diagnosed friends
- Opening a new testing facility in an underserved area of Lodz, Poland’s third largest city
- Bringing “Streetcars named desire” back again to rock Poland in May
- E-publishing audiobooks and podcasts recorded by HIV positive people to fight stigma
- Rolling out an HIV educational platform for the Warsaw Equality Parade.
Gilead strongly believes that in order to stop the virus, collaboration is key. Together, we can stop the virus.