The Australian Herpes Management Forum (AHMF) is sponsoring a contest, Live & Love: Let’s talk about HSV, that encourages aspiring filmmakers down under to tackle herpes-related stigma by producing 30-second videos that debunk myths and misconceptions about the virus.
More than sixty videos, most of which are clever and range in quality from elaborate and polished to silly and odd, have been submitted that cover topics such as HSV infections are commonplace, affect people of all backgrounds, and are not a marker for promiscuity. A number of submissions tackle relationship and personal issues and focus on ways to reduce transmission risks to a partner, that genital HSV is often unrecognized and undetected for years, and a healthy sex life can be normal following a herpes diagnosis (a point made in one submission that uses retro video game graphics and characters to stress having HSV doesn’t mean “game over”).
The film winning the Judges’ Choice (announced at a screening in Sydney on October 20th) takes home $10,000, while five People’s Choice selections pocket $1,000 each. The contest web site offers tips on making videos along with information about HSV. View the films (and vote for your favorite) at http://www.liveandlove.com.au/.
UPDATE: The winner is: Ah! Real Herpes