In her HIV awareness speech, Anne Hamers shares her personal experience of being an HIV-infected person. Her powerful story connects with the audience as she explains the various ways her disease had a negative influence on her life after contracting the virus at the age of 16. Not only does it encourage empathy in listeners, but she also explains how storytelling can be an extremely effective educational tool.
Individual stories resonate much more strongly with people compared to reading about issues in a book. These issues might be sexual health, but could also extend to any number of issues including drugs, crime and other typically taboo topics. Not only does storytelling make the issue real, it also serves as a method to raise awareness and educate young people.
The HIV awareness speech had an impact on young audiences across Europe as Hamers travelled with the dance4life speaking tour.