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Good to Go

Early this year, Good To Go was launched in Hillcrest, San Diego. Good To Go is a sex-positive, status-neutral sexual health program providing STD screenings for those who do not know their HIV status. We chat with Marcel Reyes-Vermillion to discuss visions, goals and HelloLaurenTurton’s involvement in the project.

What was your inspiration behind all of this?

By the time I was hired to be involved, I knew that I wanted to humanize this mission. I wanted people to look at the campaign and see representation, see people of color and especially young Latino men, and I wanted to have candid, plain language about what we are doing. For inspiration, I looked at the immediate Hillcrest neighborhood surrounding Good To Go, and looked at the circles of friends that had the target population. I wanted to show relaxed people making a routine about their sexual health screenings, and portray this whole initiative as just something you do to cross your T’s and dot your I’s. I believe that transmission occurs in ignorance and denial, so by bringing the conversation to light and helping people to have an open dialogue, we can ensure more people are getting tested, knowing their status, getting treated if need be, and go back into their sex lives with a positive attitude about health.

What would you say are some creative obstacles that you faced while getting Good To Go up and going?

The biggest challenge during pre-campaign mode was seeding the campaign with the community while having relatively few things to show for it. No real imagery had been created, the space was under construction so we couldn’t show the clinic. All we had was our mission language which we were refining, and I had to count on my ability to manage relationships to keep our key partners apprised and keep the momentum going. It got easier as we started to finish the space, hold photo shoots for advertising, and give the campaign some faces. But before then, I had to somehow engage and inspire people using only my ability to speak about the cause and capture imaginations with our vision.

How did you get to know about HLT and our services?

HLT was on board from the beginning, thanks to its existing relationship with page90inc. HLT was an integral part of the selfie booth because Lauren conceptualized it around the photo booth experiences she was seeing pop up in the entertainment industry at events and festivals. Because of HLT, we took a very entertainment-centric approach rather than just a pragmatic one, and it helped us create a selfie booth that the participants of Good To Go feel totally engaged in using. It made a big difference to hear Lauren’s take on it before we executed her vision.