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Living with HIV -- Educational Animation


I posted this before on the old forums, and got a lot of great replies... so I wanted to re-post this again... thank you everyone for responding and I did end up sending a letter to the editors and they graciously responded... I will keep you posted.


NOW THERE IS A NEW EPISODE UP! And it looks like there are going to be 3 more after this. This one is similar to the first one but different. It's about a guy named Trevor and... well you should just go watch it yourself.

Someone wrote in the reviews (yes, there is an area where you can write your own reviews on the site)...

REVIEWER: "I have mixed feelings about both the first and this more recent episode. I feel like the characters are dark and ominous - almost the personification of HIV - the most stigmatized illness since Leprecy. I am unclear as to what message these episodes are trying to send - who are they targeting? Is this something that is supposed to give someone with HIV hope? They seem more like horror stories that are emerging as a prevention messages rather than inspiration for someone who is trying to cope with the disease."

I actually found the stories helpful, and had comfort knowing there are others like me (especially could relate to the first one--Mud) going through this. A lot of the other reviews and message board posts on the website seem to agree with me, but then again, I don't know who all those people are. I dunno. What do you guys think? I would love to hear your opinion. Thank you and God bless.

While searching I also came across this interesting and in-depth review of the animated series on a web site called imediaconnections.

It includes comments from the makers of the piece, Ignite Health (, as well as peer reviews.  In further research, it appears that Ignite Health and the actual production company Incendia Health Studios are somehow affiliated.  I have written them a letter to better understand the affiliation.

"Overall, this is an entertaining, well-programmed site with a noteworthy design that helps in the continuing effort to put a face on HIV and AIDS."
-- Bradley Werner, director of marketing, The Fifth Network

"This is a very well done piece that deserves kudos for its execution, as well as its innovative approach to health education."
-- Matt Wright, director, online video strategy, HowStuffWorks

Press release about the series I found on the wires...


“Live With It” Debuts Second Episode, Continues Mission of Elevating the Dialog for Millions Living Life HIV+First and Only Online Animated Serial Drama Garners Accolades and Top Industry Awards

Living, Breathing Tales Motivate, Inspire and Educate Global Audience

IRVINE, Calif., July 17, 2006 – While the breakthrough animated series “Live With It” ( quietly debuted last Fall, an international audience now awaits the much-anticipated premiere of its latest episode, entitled “Trevor.”  Following fictional characters in a serial, reality-based storyline, “Live With It” innovates the traditional disease/patient education program by tackling tough, once taboo and often uncomfortable topics to elevate the dialog about life with HIV. 

The first episode, which has received traffic from over 120 countries and logged
thousands of movie views per month, is the number one emailed page on, one of the largest and most trafficked HIV websites in the world.  Additionally,
Episode 1 recently garnered a “Gold Award” and was named “Most Innovative Site”
at the WWW Health Awards. 

“The most compelling and memorable way to communicate about a specific health condition is to create living, breathing stories that will resonate within that community.  With ‘Live With It’, our overriding objectives are to be relevant and to tell personal stories that have a realistic, if not, brutally-honest tone,” said Fabio Gratton, Chief Innovation Officer of Ignite Health, a healthcare agency that specializes in chronic disease education and is responsible for the series creation and production.  “It is our hope that this honest approach and authentic voice will give us enhanced credibility when creating and distributing future HIV/AIDS related projects to this audience.”

“Live With It” follows a cast of fictional characters on a real-world journey of living with HIV.  Told in 3- to 5-minute episodic broadband videos, the resulting serial drama attempts to motivate, inspire and educate audiences through a head-on approach to life with HIV.  The characters go beyond the stereotypical and include a cultural cross section from all walks of life – single, married, male and female.  Each episode’s compelling storyline is crafted by credentialed Hollywood screenwriters and brought to life in a limited animation style (hand drawn artwork, painted backgrounds and video playback similar to Saturday morning cartoons or anime).  An original score further dramatizes the story, creating a must-see viewing experience tailored for the growing HIV/AIDS community gathering online.       

Vanessa Robison, assistant operations director commented, “The ‘Live With It’ films offer viewers truly honest depictions of what existing with HIV/AIDS is like. For some, these situations may be true to life and inspirational.  For others, it offers an empathetic viewpoint that is a raw, real, education about HIV/AIDS. Ignite Health has produced a unique medium that will gain attention in the way it is delivered and the health related information it contains. We are honored to share it via the AEGiS website.”

Catherine Renaud, Youth Outreach Worker of the AIDS Committee of Durham, regularly shares “Live With It” with students and other outreach workers.  “Right now, the AIDS Committee of Durham is making huge efforts to raise awareness and education among the youth of the region, and we're also expanding our outreach into the gay male community.  ‘Live With It’ caters perfectly to the people that we are trying to reach, and it sends the right message, including encouraging ALL members of the community to get tested.” 

The newly-debuted Episode 2, entitled “Trevor”, provides a glimpse of life as a married man struggling to do the right thing, telling his pregnant wife he is HIV+. 

“Live With It” is available for viewing at  The award-winning broadband website also is available as a podcast download for portable devices such as iPods and PlayStation portable.  And the animated serial drama further extends the storyline with blogs created for each character on Two of the largest HIV-related websites – The Body ( and AEGIS ( – have partnered with “Live With It” to distribute and promote the series. and have also donated ad space in support of this innovative and educational initiative.

“Live With It” is made possible by independent grants and funding.  Ignite Health is looking for sponsors for Episodes 4 and 5, currently in pre-production.  Episode 3, already in post-production, will be launched late summer ’06. 

Currently ranked among the top 20 independent health care advertising agencies in the US, Ignite Health has more than 70 full-time employees and has won more than 80 industry awards.  Clients include: Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Bausch & Lomb, Berlex, Cephalon, Corus Pharma, Edwards Lifesciences, Eli Lilly and Co., Eyeonics, Genetic Alliance, Genomic Health, Gilead Sciences, Gilead/BMS, Merck Publishing, Novacea, Roche/Trimeris,  Refractec and Telik.

The agency is located at 8955 Research Drive, Irvine, CA 92618. To contact Ignite, call Tim Riley at 949-861-3200 or http://www.ingnitehealth.comemail him at Website:


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