Designing Change:
an ongoing social
purpose campaign
platform with proven

The background


ACON is a not-for-profit organisation focused on ending HIV. Together, in a collaborative and trusting relationship of more than seven years, we have created numerous Ending HIV campaigns, which have contributed to NSW having the lowest HIV transmission rate in the world.

Karen Price
Deputy CEO
A key challenge for this campaign platform was finding a way to promote awareness of sexually transmitted infections among gay men without scaremongering or being sex-negative. It’s important our audiences are empowered with knowledge so they can make informed decisions about their sexual health and wellbeing.”
Our thinking


ACON understands that if at-risk groups test more frequently, treat early and engage in safe sex, we can virtually eliminate HIV transmissions. Taking a human-centred design approach and working collaboratively with the client, we developed a strategy anchored in a deep understanding of the audience, their attitudes, needs, frustrations and motivations. From this foundation, we set out to design an over-arching campaign that has been launched as a series of creative executions since 2013. The aim: to disrupt stereotypes and ultimately inspire behavioural change to end HIV transmissions by 2020.



From testing more, treating early and practicing safe sex, to the development of PrEP (a highly effective HIV infection prevention drug), research and technologies in the reduction of HIV transmission are constantly evolving. Each campaign focuses on spreading awareness of these methods to the LBGTQIA+ community in order to re-educate and encourage behavioural change for the safety of all. When combined, the campaigns create a holistic collective of methods to reduce transmission.

To launch the Ending HIV initiative, we introduced an equation. Test More + Treat Early + Stay Safe = Ending HIV. This step-by-step strategy has ensured the execution of a tightly managed and carefully timed set of messages.

By mobilising the gay community since 2013, actively raising awareness and driving open and positive discussions to end transmission of HIV in NSW by 2020, we have helped the AIDS Council of NSW achieve a massive 22% reduction in HIV diagnoses.*. The overarching ENDING HIV – I’M IN campaign was accompanied by its extension – I’M ON, and followed by Test More [Easy As], Undetectable and I’m Ending HIV 2.0 [Test Often] campaign iterations.

We successfully designed change by creating a sense of personal responsibility, emotionally engaging with the audience and empowering them with information.

*2016 stats

For the first time there’s proof we can end HIV. But to make it a reality, we need to change the behaviour of the whole community. How can design strategically achieve this?



“We consider that the campaign platform Ending HIV and the successive campaigns released as part of this series since 2013 has been our most visible health promotion campaign work to date. Through this work, we have seen large increases in the level of community awareness of new HIV prevention approaches, as well as belief in the goal of virtually eliminating new HIV transmissions in NSW by 2020. In partnership with Frost*collective, we have engaged our communities, increased their health literacy, and seen people take action in record numbers. ACON’s work relies on strong community engagement and Ending HIV has delivered – we are very proud this award-winning initiative, which has received international recognition.”

Karen Price, Deputy CEO, ACON



Winner – 2020 Good Design Awards
Project: ‘We Test’ Ending HIV Campaign for ACON
Category: Social Impact

Distinction – 2018 AGDA Awards
Project: ‘Test for STI’s’ Ending HIV Campaign for ACON
Category: Print/Posters

Distinction – 2018 AGDA Awards
Project: ‘Test for STI’s’ Ending HIV Campaign for ACON
Category: Design for Good/Health & Wellbeing

Merit – 2018 AGDA Awards
Project: ‘Test for STI’s’ Ending HIV Campaign for ACON
Category: Print/Campaigns

Silver/Advertising – 2017 Sydney Design Awards
Project: ‘How Do You Do It?’ Campaign for ACON
Category: Print

Bronze – 2016 New Zealand Best Awards
Project: ACON 2.0
Category: Public Good

Silver – 2016 Graphis Awards
Project: ACON 2.0 Campaign Posters
Category: Posters

Distinction, Jury’s Choice – 2016 AGDA Awards
Project: ACON Undetectable


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