Leading global AIDS service organization AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) hosted a video contest this month through social media platforms that offered entrants the chance to win a trip to attend the Vail Film Festival in Colorado, where AHF is premiering the documentary “Keep The Promise: The Global Fight Against AIDS.” The rules were for entrants to submit a :30 to :60-second video telling their “HIV story.” The grand prize was hotel accommodations, on-site transportation, and admission to the Vail Film Festival for two in the Rocky Mountain resort town.
The open-ended contest welcomed submissions focusing on varied topics including living with HIV, working for organizations benefiting those living with HIV, or remembering loved ones lost to HIV/AIDS. Each submission had to highlight how the featured story is an example of why it is important to “Keep The Promise on AIDS,” which involves vigilantly getting tested for HIV, using condoms to prevent transmission, and supporting efforts to help end the epidemic and provide treatment or care to those who need it.
HIV educator Shawn Decker, 37, of Charlottesville, Virginia was selected as the winner of the contest for his autobiographical video, “Shawn’s Life in 60 Seconds.” Using creative chalk drawings to sketch out his story, Shawn sketches how he went from a scared 11-year-old finding out he had contracted HIV to a confident and happy 37-year-old who, alongside his loving wife, Gwenn Barringer, educates people about how to avoid getting and passing the virus, as well as how to live well if they themselves are positive.
Shawn and Gwenn show that they Keep the Promise by providing education to others not only through sexual health classes, but also through the example they lead of a responsible shared love that keeps them both happy and healthy. Their video will be shown just before the 6:30 pm premiere of “Keep the Promise: The Global Fight on AIDS” on Friday, March 22 in the Four Seasons Piney Ballroom.
Thank you to all participants who submitted videos, and congratulations on your win Shawn and Gwenn!