The #YouAreNotAlone campaign is raising awareness about the stigma and discrimination faced by children, adolescents and families affected by HIV in eastern Europe and central Asia.
On the eve of Zero Discrimination Day on 1 March, more than 890 000 viewers joined the online platform OK.ru/test to discuss zero discrimination and join the launch of the UNAIDS regional #YouAreNotAlone campaign. The discussion was live-streamed on Odnoklassniki.
The #YouAreNotAlone campaign is raising awareness about the stigma and discrimination faced by children, adolescents and families affected by HIV in eastern Europe and central Asia. The campaign features young Russian artists who each retell the personal story of an adolescent living with HIV in the Russian Federation. Most adolescents in eastern Europe and central Asia still face stigma and discrimination that prevents them from being open about their HIV status.
The broadcast also featured an interactive online film, It’s Complicated. Based on the lives of adolescents and young people living with HIV in the Russian Federation, the film tells the story of Katya, a Russian girl born with HIV who faces stigma and discrimination but also finds love and support as she grows up and adjusts to life with HIV. Some of the film’s crew and lead actors joined UNAIDS and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization staff in the OK.ru discussion.
“The goal of the #YouAreNotAlone campaign is to promote solidarity with children, adolescents and families affected by HIV in eastern Europe and central Asia for them to live with safety and dignity,” said Vinay P. Saldana, Director for the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
The campaign has been promoted through social media by Vera Brezhneva, UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Victoria Lopyreva, UNAIDS Ambassador for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and others. Everyone is encouraged to support the campaign by posting a photo on social medial with the hashtag #тыНЕодинок (#YouAreNotAlone).
“These young people are inspiring and strong,” said Ms Brezhneva. “Something is very wrong with a society where the human rights and dignity of people living with HIV are not respected. Every person living with HIV should feel our support, #YouARENotAlone!”
The campaign was also launched in Armenia, where it was supported by actors, television presenters and others. Armen Aghajanov is the first person living with HIV in Armenia who publicly disclosed his HIV status during the launch of the #YouAreNotAlone campaign on Zero Discrimination Day. He said: “People are not dying from HIV, they die from discrimination, late diagnosis, lack of access to treatment or from not taking medicines.”