In October, in the 4 largest regions of Russia, a large-scale information campaign #InYourPowerLife was launched (vsilah.ru).
Mission of the campaign: to show people living with HIV that the therapy gives a chance to be themselves, to live long in love and support of loved ones, regardless of HIV status. This is reflected in the slogan “HIV won’t change this”.
The site of the vsilah.ru information campaign contains the “capsules” with 12 encouraging stories told by people. By opening the capsule, you can find out about the lifestyle of the person living with HIV, find more facts about ARV therapy, and get help from peer counselors.
The campaign was initiated and implemented by the organizations “Humanitarian Action” (St. Petersburg), “Humanitarian Project” (Novosibirsk), the “Source of Hope” Foundation in Chelyabinsk (Chelyabinsk), the Regional Public Foundation “New Life” (Yekaterinburg).
Also, non-governmental and government organizations, information platforms, major bloggers and opinion leaders are involved in the project.
“It is only through joint efforts that our society has a chance to get rid of the many stigmas associated with HIV. And we will fight for every life,” notes Humanitarian Action.
The focus on Novosibirsk, Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk regions and the city of St. Petersburg was not occasionally chosen. Almost 200 thousand people with HIV live in these regions, which is about 20% of all registered HIV cases in Russia. Of these, almost 74 thousand do not dare to start the life-saving treatment. The heroes of the campaign “It’s in your power to live” tell why it is still important to make up your mind.
– “In Novosibirsk region, more than 10 thousand people have not started ARV treatment. If they don’t start taking therapy, they will die. The World Health Organization stated: HIV is not sexually transmitted if an HIV-positive person is on therapy and has an undetectable viral load. The epidemic will stop when all HIV-positive people are on therapy. If you know you are HIV-positive but are not receiving treatment, please contact us for help. We will help with the registration at the AIDS Center, this is our role in our common work. And the treatment is provided free of charge at the expense of the state,” says Denis Kamaldinov, head of the Humanitarian Project public organization.
– “In Sverdlovsk region, more than 12 thousand people have not started ARV treatment. Some of these people, due to clamps and discrimination in society, simply neglect their health and, most importantly, their lives, and many do not even know about their HIV status. Only together we have a chance to change something. And we will fight for every life,” says Vera Kovalenko, head of the New Life Public Foundation.
“During the period of self-isolation, we consulted people on HIV issues online and delivered the therapy to people who could not go for it themselves. We do not stop our work, no matter what, our mission is to fight for every life, to give hope. We are ready to help everyone get the necessary therapy, help with the registration at the AIDS Center. Moreover, today the treatment for HIV infection is available, and it is provided at the expense of the state. Taking therapy, a person reaches an undetectable viral load, which means (s)he can live a long time, not transmit HIV and give birth to healthy children. Only through joint efforts there is a chance to get rid of HIV-related fears, discrimination and stigma in society,” says Alexei Tananin, General Director of the Source of Hope Foundation.
The information campaign “It is in your power to live” is designed to solve three main tasks: bring more HIV-positive people to ARV therapy; make it clear that the diagnosis does not define the essence of the person; to remind that the love of loved ones, in fact, is unconditional. And #hivwon’tchangethis.