In 2015, HEAL International, in collaboration with 20 other community and student organizations, hosted Paint for Peace, a World AIDS Day event that gets the community involved in a positive way. Paint for Peace started as a way to let the community paint and express themselves while supporting each other and finding inner healing through artwork. The artwork allows people to express their vision of peace and incorporate the hope that they have for HIV/AIDS while reducing stigma around the disease. The painted canvases are donated to the AIDS Memorial Quilt each year.
This year, Paint for Peace reached thousands of students and community members in Tempe, Arizona. Held on Hayden Lawn at Arizona State University, this event attracted a steady stream of students – 200 individuals painted canvases in support, 100 individuals got tested for HIV, and thousands more received condoms and/or information regarding HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. Not only did the event physically reach more than 2,000 people, each one of those individuals will walk away with a conversation starter that everyone in their circles will hear. In this manner, the community starts to open a conversation regarding HIV/AIDS that breaks down the walls of stigma and increases education.
Supporting artistic vision and community engagement is central to the ONE brand. We provided Paint for Peace our ONE Street Art edition condoms, and we're ecstatic to hear the students were able to start open conversations around the condoms and safer sex. Paint for Peace organizers told us the condoms allowed "thousands of students at Arizona State University to have the opportunity to stay protected and have open conversations about sex with their partners; and allow HEAL International to continue to spread sex positive messages and reduce stigma on one of the largest college campuses in the United States."