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Breaking the Silence through Storytelling: Confronting Medical Mistrust to Advance HIV Prevention



Baltimore City’s Health Department is using storytelling to address medical mistrust in their community. Last year, they started two programs: Baltimore in Conversation and Project Presence, to bring together members of the community to share their stories of accessing healthcare and HIV treatment. Baltimore in Conversation hosts story circles of five to six individuals, where people chat informally about their own experiences. The health department also hosts larger storytelling nights as part of this initiative, to engage different sections of their community. Project Presence is a photography project that highlights members of the LGBTQ community in Baltimore and their stories. The photos are exhibited throughout the city, including an exhibition at Baltimore City Hall. These projects aim to get at the core of problem solving: by focusing on the individual impact. And they aim to create dialogue so that the causes of mistrust can begin to be addressed.

Take a look at this video to hear from the people who are making these conversations happen, and those who are participating in them.