This week, we’ve partnered up with an amazing local company: Wearable Hope. Each week they choose a different non-profit to feature on their website, and $10 from the sale of each shirt goes to that cause. (Check out our shirts on the site right now!)

I and my coworkers, Scott and Marcus, had the fortune of working with Erynn at Wearable Hope to think up and create these two great designs. The process was painless, and after just two revisions, we had the versions below:

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When we first started brainstorming about the shirts, we went back to the ideals of ASA to figure out what message we wanted to send. We didn’t want the shirts to be tied to an event, a program, or even ASA itself, but to stand alone and promote good health.

Over the years, we’ve learned that the biggest barriers we face today in the fight against HIV are really barriers of knowledge.

jeanie_ASAThe first thing we have to overcome is stigma and/or indifference. When you carry stigmas about HIV around, you tend to avoid talking about it honestly, and so does everyone around you. The same is true with indifference. If you think HIV is a problem of the past or that it’s not such a big deal, chances are you’re probably not speaking up or thinking about it.

That was the idea behind our Stigma Stopper shirt. It’s up to everyone to get out there and spread the word, stopping stigma and indifference so we can clear the way to create honest and open dialogues.

DSC_0111 copyThe second barrier is not knowing your own HIV status. As we believe at ASA, testing is the gateway to well-being. Once you know your status you can take steps to take charge of your health and the health of those around you. By knowing your status, you can know your health. In the US, nearly 16% of people infected with HIV don’t know it. And in youth, this number jumps up to 60%!

We knew that these had to be the messages we sent out, so once the shirts were designed, they were printed the very next day. I got to travel down to Wearable Hope headquarters here in Austin and took a tour of their facility and got a backstage look at their photo shoot for the website.

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All the shirts are printed as custom orders when they come in on this interesting machine above! (You might be able to see my reflection in the glass…).

All this week, you can get your very own Stigma Stopper or Know Your Status shirt on their website: www.wearablehope.com. Remember, $10 from each shirt goes right back to helping Central Texans affected by HIV and AIDS!