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About this Initiative

To raise awareness of World Aids Day, this campaign by Densu Jayme Syfu in the Philippines created typos across digital media that highlighted the word HIV in red across articles. This campaign showed that HIV/Aids is everywhere and encouraged people to get tested. 

The problem seemed daunting. In just 6 years, HIV/Aids cases in the Philippines grew by 1,038%, making it the country with the fastest growing HIV/Aids epidemic in the world. There were 20 new cases a day. Award-winning agency Dentsu Jaymes Syfy in the Philippines took on the challenge on behalf of charity Loveyourself and found the solution to unlocking action in something no-one can ignore: a typo.

HIV/Aids campaigns are nothing new. But with the Philippines being a highly conservative and religious society, being sexually active and tested for HIV had a lot of stigma attached to it. How could we develop something that cut through to our target audience, as well as have the scale to reach the most number of people possible? How do you reach a specific segment which does not want to be called out, and just be left alone?

You find the one thing that exercises them most in their daily lives: typos in the online articles they read. We brought this message online in a way they couldn’t ignore. With a simple script, news articles and sites were infected, creating typos reading “HIV”.

On the day before World AIDS Day, netizens were greeted with the one thing they couldn't ignore online. Loads of typos. In article after article, infecting popular websites. These articles were HIV-fied using a java script and generator. With this simple script, the articles and sites were infected. An “H” was added to any word with an “IV”, or a “V” to any letter sequence of “HI”. In effect, an article could contain over 20 typos reading “HIV”.

As people scrolled down to comment on the errors, the message hit them – HIV could be part of anyone’s story. Clicking on the link gave them information on how and where to get tested, counseling, and where to get support. With absolutely no media budget, the campaign generated 59 million impressions worth over $500,000 in earned media. On LoveYourself’s website, the sections on ‘HIV Test Sites’ and ‘I want To get Tested’ got +500% more visits. 

More importantly, HIV testing through LoveYourself’s testing facilities increased by 60%, making 2015 a record testing year in its history. From an average testing rate of 718 monthly in 2014, testing increased to 1,066 in the first month of the campaign (December 2015), and continued to increase to 1,425 in January 2016, and 1,357 in February 2016. Truly a campaign and an issue no-one could ignore.