As Much As I Can
During 2016, ReD Associates conducted a foundational study and strategy project with leading HIV-dedicated healthcare company, ViiV. The goal was to identify opportunities to increase access to lifesaving care and prevention, and to help guide ViiV’s grant-making and community partnership initiatives to have the biggest impact. During the project, ReD conducted in-depth ethnographies in a few of the communities hit hardest by the epidemic including black “men who sleep with men” (BMSM) in Jackson, MS and Baltimore, MD. In addition to inspiring ViiV to fund a number of support and community programs, their stories of these men have inspired an immersive theater production called “As Much As I Can.”
Written and produced by New York creative studio Harley and Company and directed by James Andrew Walsh, the play brings alive the lived experience of men who have HIV/AIDS. In an interactive setting, the audience can engage with the authentic stories of black gay and bisexual men who helped to co-create the script.
“As Much As I Can” is sponsored by ViiV healthcare’s “ACCELERATE!” initiative, which funds community projects that focus on improving HIV outcomes for black gay men in Baltimore and Jackson, where it’s estimated that more than half of BMSM are or will become HIV+ in their lifetimes. The production first debuted in Baltimore and Jackson in January 2017 and continues to tour nationally including to New York’s Public Theater this week from September 12 to 16. Recognition for the production includes a silver award at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Shorty Award for Social Good, a D&AD award for set design and a Telly Award.
ReD Associates presented an exhibition of photographs from the project for ViiV at last year’s EPIC Conference, focused on advancing the value and impact of ethnography in industry. These photographs featured the men of Baltimore and Jackson as well as black women from New Orleans, LA, where the lingering effects of Katrina have left women with some of the country’s highest rates of infection and lowest rates of viral suppression. This photo gallery includes a selection of the photographs taken by ReD’s Mads T. Nielsen. ReD’s team for this project included Charlotte Vangsgaard, Brendan Muha, Rebekah Park, Alix Korn, Danielle Flam, Funke Sangodeyi, Isabel Patkowski, Jennifer Giroux, Sarah Hetherington, Mads T. Nielsen, Jakob Ohrt, and Anton du Preez.