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U equals U

Background & goals

Taking an HIV test and thus knowing one’s own immune status is the first step towards containing HIV/AIDS. Despite the progress made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, transmission rates worldwide remain very high. Stigmatisation and discrimination also continue to hamper the further development needed to bring the epidemic to an end. Since 2017, LIFE+ has been publishing a campaign with successive goals to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in a sustainable way.

.Main goals of the LIFE+ campaigns:

  • Reducing stigmatisation and discrimination related to HIV
  • Lowering barriers to access HIV-related health facilities
  • Raising awareness for prevention and treatment programmes



The Campaign 2019

Undetectable = Untransmittalble


The objective of the U = U Campaign 2019 (Undetectable = Untransmittable) is to explain how an HIV-positive person who receives the right treatment can achieve viral suppression and is therefore no longer able to pass on the HIV virus to others. At the same time, however, societal taboos on the subject of HIV/ AIDS should be broken down, young people in particular sensitised to the dangers of HIV infection and their awareness of preventive measures raised. The U = U campaign supports the UNAIDS 90-90-90 Targets (Know your status – get tested- get treated- get noninfectious).

2019 François Sagat, a French model and porn Actor, stood in front of the lens of photographer Elfie Semotan, who is renowned in Austria and abroad, for the poster Campaign.

The campaign was once again conceived and implemented by Merlicek & Partner with support from No Pitch Content House (film production), Soundfeiler GmbH (recording studio) and Mladen Penev (image editing).

#mystorywonthurtyou #uequalsu


The Campaign 2018

In 2017, our Know Your Status campaign focused on the first UNAIDS 90-90-90 objective, that demands for 90 % of people with HIV to be acquainted with their status by 2020. In 2018, the Know Your Status campaign focused on the second UNAIDS 90-90-90 objective, according to which, 90 percent of people with HIV who know their status should be receiving anti-retroviral treatment.

Therefore, the Know Your Status 2018 campaign deals with the steps that need to be taken after the diagnosis and creates awareness for what the afflicted are facing on a personal, social and medical level.



Philipp Hochmair knows his status, do you?




  • Reducing stigmatization and discrimination related to the HI-virus
  • Reducing obstacles in the way of accessing HIV-related health facilities
  • Increasing awareness for prevention and treatment program


The Know Your Status campaign is based on four main pillars:

  • Projects with International partner organizations – This concerns financial support by community-based and government-sponsored programs that focus on HIV testing among high-risk groups and address the need for preventative care or treatment that is required.
  • Testimonial and PR Campaign – This pertains to large-scale testimonial campaign on social media and a poster campaign photographed by world-famous photographer RANKIN and Andreas H. Bitesnich featuring stars like Eva Herzigová, Aiden Brady, Paris Jackson and Philipp Hochmair.
  • HIV testing in Austria – This is carried out in collaboration with our non-profit partner organizations, federal and local authorities and our business sponsors on site to increase the number of test sites in Austria and thus make the program more accessible to society.
  • Youth prevention through education, the LIFE BALL NEXT GENERATION – We launched a specific youth education program and a new event – LIFE BALL NEXT GENERATION, in cooperation with our local partner organizations, the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, the Federal Ministry of Labor, social organizations, Health and Consumer Protection, Wüstenrot Bausparkasse AG and the Youth against AIDS association.

Paris Jackson knows her status. Do you?

RANKIN shoots campaign for Life Ball 2018

For our Know Your Status campaign in 2018, the models authored the statements themselves, which were then painted on their bodies. The statements ought to reflect the respective experiences of the  models, their thoughts on their own status, their life story and what the HIV test means to them. A direct and honest approach in dealing with HIV/AIDS takes the spotlight and features the hashtags #knowyourstatus_lifeball and #behonest.

The individual statements in the new campaign run deep in the truest sense of the word, giving the respective personality a specific meaning, which inseparably connects people to their life and experiences.

RANKIN got famous worldwide through his photography and with founding Dazed & Confused magazine together with Jefferson Hack in 1992. As a photographer and director RANKIN is a trend-setter in the commercial world.

New sujets by Andreas H. Bitesnich

The meaningful photographs of the new Know Your Status testimonials Paris Jackson and Philipp Hochmair were shot by Andreas H. Bitesnich and transformed by the commercial agency Merlicek & Grossebner into a poster campaign, which is handled by KULTURFORMAT, a 100% affiliate of Gewista.


Eva Herzigová knows her status. Do you?

2017 campaign shot by Peter Lindbergh

Kate Winslet, Tatjana Patitz and Uma Thurman know their HIV-status – and are building with their request to get tested the visual starting point of the LIFE+ campaign “Do you know your status?”.

The expressive and iconic campaign was shot  by photography legend Peter Lindbergh, one of the most influential fashion photographers of the past 40 years and founder of the supermodel phenomenon of the 90ies.


Kate Winslet knows her status. Do you?







#Know Your Status


“I know my status – do you?”

Show the world that you know your immune status and motivate others to get tested too.

Share your picture on social media with the hashtag:


Aiden Brady knows his status. Do you?


HIV testing is the first step in maintaining a healthy life, reducing the spread of HIV, and ending the AIDS epidemic. By getting regularly tested and knowing your status, you can take the necessary steps to protect your health and that of others – either receiving timely treatment or the appropriate preventive care.

If you knowingly live with HIV, you can begin treatment such as antiretroviral therapy (ART). Such treatment can keep you healthy and help you live a normal life by lowering your viral load, reducing HIV-related illness, and decreasing the spread of the virus to others. According to the Center for Disease Control in the U.S., properly taking ART daily “can reduce an HIV-positive person’s chance of transmitting HIV by as much as 96%.”

Preventive measures

If you learn that you are HIV-negative, knowing your status can help you take preventative measures, regarding sex, drug use, and health care, to protect you from HIV. Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, also known as PrEP, is one such daily medication that can prevent HIV infection in persons who are HIV-negative and at very high risk for HIV. Taking PrEP once a day can maximize your protection against HIV by around 99%.

In most countries, you can get tested for HIV at hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, and places purposely designated for HIV testing by government agencies and local non-profit organizations. HIV test results are confidential and some places even provide anonymous testing. Wherever you choose to get tested, make sure they provide counseling services. Counselors can help you understand your test results and teach about situations and behaviors in which you risk contracting or transmitting HIV. Counselors can teach you ways of protecting yourself and others from the virus and refer you to appropriate, local resources about HIV/AIDS. Since 2018 pharmacies all around Austria are selling HIV-self tests which you can get without a prescription. A HIV-self test allows you to test your HIV-status in a discreet setting. The test in general aims to reduce the inhibition level in getting tested at all. In case of a positive test result, the HIV-test needs to be verified by a laboratory test.

Here you can find testing locations in Austria, in Europe and in the United States.