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Special Project

Special Project
From the 5th Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Profiles in Resilience Poster Series

Silver Honor in Pro Bono

Entered in Public Health


To do our part in the fight against HIV, W2O is incredibly fortunate to partner with the International AIDS Society (IAS) as the regional agency of record for AIDS 2020, the 23rd International AIDS Conference: Virtual. 

The 2020 conference theme, resilience, was chosen by IAS as a nod to how far the HIV community has come since 1990, the last time this conference was held in the Bay Area. The history of the HIV response is replete with incredible models of resilience – from the first activists who took on the medical and political establishment to pave the way for the astounding gains against the virus that we now take for granted, to the newest generation of advocates fighting for equity in access to healthcare across the globe.

In light of the conference theme of resilience, W2O and IAS partnered to launch a ‘Profiles in Resilience’ poster series campaign with key objectives to drive awareness of the AIDS 2020 event, showcase the diversity of resiliency across the HIV community and celebrate the people behind the HIV movement. These works of art were inspired by the extraordinary work individuals are doing to advance the HIV response and are based on interviews conducted with people at the forefront of the movement.

Strategy and Execution

The ‘Profiles in Resilience’ campaign was an opportunity to bring to life HIV activists’ complex and inspiring stories through artwork. By pairing HIV activists from around the globe with local Bay Area visual artists, beautiful, distinct works of art were created. Each artist used their own medium to depict aspects of these resilient individuals that resonated with them. The resulting gallery of images embody both the diversity of the community and the theme of the AIDS 2020 Conference: Resilience. Powerful words from extraordinary people are amplified by the addition of bold, thoughtfully crafted visual interpretations the complex factors that make up human resiliency. These artistic expressions are a product of collaboration at its finest. They exemplify the power of teamwork—the core truth that the only way we will end AIDS is together.

Each month leading up to the AIDS 2020 Conference, a new Profile was posted in the online gallery and on the AIDS 2020 social channels. Each month, a Profile explored key aspects of resilience – resilience in science, resilience in policy, resilience in financing, resilient communities, and resilient individuals. While each poster could stand on its own, seeing the series come together as a new piece released served to build excitement for the conference. 

On the first day of the virtual conference, the ‘Profiles in Resilience’ online gallery was brought to life as part of the conference’s opening ceremony. You can see some of this work featured in a teaser video here:


We had no idea how apropos Resilience would be, as the IAS subsequently undertook the hard work of transforming what was originally planned as a massive, in-person event – the largest of its kind, in fact – into a digital playground of scientific and activism exchange.

The individual posters and culminating ‘Profiles in Resilience’ gallery of images effectively brought a visual element to the conference theme of resilience. The poster series successfully showcased the diversity of resiliency throughout the HIV community by profiling activists from around the world and telling their stories through beautiful pieces artwork. As a result, W2O and the IAS drove awareness of the conference theme of resiliency by sharing the ‘Profiles in Resilience’ series across numerous digital channels, including the conference website, social media and in strategic news publications.

At a time when conference attendees couldn’t attend an in-person event, the ‘Profiles in Resilience’ campaign brought the HIV community aspect to life. It inspired engagement on social media and on the virtual conference platform, and acted as important vehicles for storytelling when the community could not meet face-to-face.


Video for Profiles in Resilience Poster Series

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Real Chemistry, International AIDS Society (AIDS 2020)


Entry Credits