International AIDS Society (IAS) is the world’s largest association of HIV professionals.
Its headquarters are in Geneva and it has over 16,000 members in 180 countries including researchers, clinicians, educators, public health and community practitioners, NGOs and policy and programme planners – all collaborating on the global response to AIDS.
Recent scientific breakthroughs mean that AIDS-related issues have lost their urgency in public and scientific perception. Increasingly it is perceived as a chronic condition that people live with, rather than die from. Young medical practitioners are choosing to focus on other, new and more urgent global healthcare challenges.
To further its growth, IAS asked us to develop a new identity, communication platform and membership strategy that would raise its profile within the HIV medical community.
Speaking to IAS senior leaders, current and past Society Presidents, a Nobel Prize winning scientist and many active members, we discovered that at the heart of the IAS brand there is a deeply personal, human element of its work.
We were told of numerous real life stories about HIV medical professionals and their patients who faced public resentment, prejudice, rejection and often prosecution for their association with the disease.
They admitted that, although in recent years the global AIDS-related mortality rates have decreased, the personal and societal impact of HIV remained, with millions of its patients still experiencing social discrimination, poverty and injustice. In the developing world the impact is growing.
We brought human rights to the forefront of the IAS story to balance the focus on rational, scientific development and to give the personal stories of the people who live and connect with the disease everyday a voice.
In aligning the human side of the AIDS narrative to the IAS proposition, we gave the organisational purpose and its members’ work a fresh sense of urgency, bringing it to the forefront of public and media attention.
We created a more emotive and direct tone of voice to tell the real-life stories of HIV medics and their patients, highlighting the challenges they face together every day. The Identity brings a new lease of life to the iconic symbol of AIDS, the red ribbon, symbolising the voice of each member and how they come together as a powerful movement to fight the disease. Both an individual voice and the voice of collective authority addressing one of the biggest challenges facing humankind today.
We continue to work with IAS delivering its message both inside the organisation and to the world – from its renowned International AIDS conferences, the world’s largest AIDS-related professional events – to its membership programme, communications and its marketing strategies, helping IAS fight one of the most destructive forces facing mankind today.