Online game aims to raise HIV/AIDS awareness

October 23, 2015

The Web site, posornot, shows photographs and short biographies of men and women ages 21 to 30, asking visitors to determine if each is HIV-positive or negative. It was launched in late April and was played about 5.1 million times by 400,000 people during its first three weeks. According to the Times, the "message is that you can't judge someone's virus status by looks, occupation or taste in music" (Stelter, New York Times, 5/19).

The Web site was launched by mtvU, MTV's college network, and the Kaiser Family Foundation, in partnership with POZ Magazine. During the game, HIV-positive participants share when they first learned their HIV status, and HIV-negative participants talk about how they have been affected by the disease. The game also provides information about HIV prevention, as well as local HIV and sexually transmitted infection resources from CDC (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/1).

"We feel it's another kind of activist tool to get out the word about HIV protection," Stephen Friedman, general manager of mtvU, said. Celebrities, such as musician Wycleaf Jean and actress Rosario Dawson, have made promotions for the game, which also is featured across MTV's networks. "Looking at the statistics that one in four people who are HIV-positive in the U.S. don't know it, it's pretty staggering," Friedman said, adding, "We hope that something like this will get under their skin. If it makes some people uncomfortable, that's not necessarily a bad thing" (New York Times, 5/19).

This article is republished with kind permission from our friends at The Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery of in-depth coverage of health policy developments, debates and discussions. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for Kaisernetwork, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.