Young people living with HIV in the UK are getting the chance to educate their peers through Life in my Shoes (LIMS), an innovative youth-led campaign that challenges the stigma that surrounds HIV in the UK. A major part of the campaign was the creation of the original dramatised film, UNDEFEATED, and four short SPOTLIGHT films based on the real life stories of those involved in the campaign.
Run by the charity Body & Soul, LIMS is being delivered direct to schools through outreach programmes to educate and unlock viewers’ imagination, empathy and courage regarding HIV.
The project was born out of the young people’s passion to educate their generation. They were exhausted by the continuing stigma surrounding their illness, so they identified the need to create a campaign to improve understanding and break down misinformation. Many young people do not know the basic facts about HIV transmission and this is causing unnecessary fear and stigma towards HIV and people with HIV.
LIMS ambassador Peter, 23, is HIV positive and has been involved with Body & Soul since he was a child. Sharing his own experiences of HIV-related stigma when he was growing up helped to shape the project. Working side-by-side with film professionals, Peter was integral to the project with moments in his life inspiring scenes in UNDEFEATED. He was actively involved in production from set design to production to being on screen as an extra.
Peter said: “The whole experience of being part of LIMS has felt like someone putting on my shoes and finally understanding what I go through every day.”
- Keep you chin high Keep your mind open Keep your ears and mouth mindful After all of that- Just live
- It is time to end the stigma around mental health, people need to know they can get helped and not be laughed at.
- I walk down the street and I know nobody sees me... Invisible, just like my scars
- I still remember everything about you. Your smell, your voice, your laugh, the first time we kissed. I miss it.
- Everyday getting out of bed is a nightmare. I prefer the dreams to my reality