Janssen's latest Prezcobix effort taps HIV activists to curate patient-story contest

An image from Janssen's Prezcobix campaign

Some heavy-hitting HIV activists have signed onto Janssen's ongoing "Wisdom" campaign, headlining a share-your-story campaign for people living with the disease. The Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) unit will award up to $20,000 in charitable donations as part of the effort, which ties in the company's latest HIV brand, Prezcobix.

Guy Anthony, Maria Mejia and Josh Robbins--all well-known activists for HIV/AIDS awareness and education--will write, videotape and post their wisdom on www.shareHIVwisdom.com, and serve as advisors as the "Your Story. Your HIV Wisdom." campaign progresses. They'll also curate the submissions from HIV patients.

Stories can be filed in four categories: audio, video, photograph or written word. Janssen will donate $20 per first-time category submission up to $10,000 to each of two charities, AIDS United and Black AIDS Institute. Each month, the advocates (along with Janssen), will pick some of the best stories to feature in the Wisdom gallery.

At the end of the campaign in March, they'll pull together favorites and conduct a final vote on the best one. Submission rules note that the work may be used elsewhere by Janssen, including the Prezcobix website. When asked if any of the work will be used in future marketing or advertising, a spokeswoman said she couldn't speculate on that.

"Our goal is to bring together many different voices, and we wanted to include leading voices that are reflective of the community," said Lisa Vaga, a spokeswoman for Janssen Therapeutics, a sister company of Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) Janssen Pharmaceuticals, adding via email, "… We believe this approach will allow us to best showcase a rich variety of experiences and points of view, by sharing new perspectives each month."

The campaign is driven by Janssen research that found people living with HIV often turn to the internet for information, and tend to share advice and knowledge. More than 72% of patients actively seek online information about HIV, while 80% said they also give others advice or tell them where to find information.

"Managing HIV requires more than medicine--it requires information and support, both from healthcare professionals and from others affected by the disease," said Nefertiti Greene, president of Janssen Therapeutics, in a press release.

Prezcobix was approved by the FDA for treatment of HIV-I in January. It's a combination drug pairing Janssen's HIV fighter Prezista and Gilead Sciences' ($GILD) boosting agent Tybost. Tybost was also approved at the same time as the booster in another combination drug to treat HIV, Bristol-Myers Squibb's ($BMY) Evotaz.

- read the release

Special Report: The top 10 advertisers in Big Pharma