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Using Photography To Change The World’s Perception Of People Living With HIV

“HIV in View” is a royalty-free photo gallery featuring images of real people living with HIV that was launched by ViiV Healthcare and Shutterstock Studios…
 
World AIDS Day opened this year with the World Health Organization’s theme “End Inequality. End AIDS,” a bold statement that highlights the social component of HIV and all the stigma it carries. Despite substantial progress, the world’s perception of people living with HIV has not changed much. And many misrepresentations of people living with HIV circulate on the Internet.
 
Since photo sharing is a part of our culture, what better way to raise awareness than to change people’s perception towards people living with HIV? A picture is worth a thousand words. Perhaps this was the spirit that guided ViiV Healthcare and Shutterstock Studios when they launched “HIV in View” a year ago, a royalty-free photo gallery featuring images of real people living with HIV.
 
But the story doesn’t end there. ViiV Healthcare and Shutterstock Studios have continued throughout the year to capture empowering images that authentically depict the reality of people living with HIV today. Far from reflecting the fear once associated with HIV, the gallery is filled with inspiring examples of how things have changed for many people living with HIV.
 
In celebration of 2021 World AIDS Day, the ‘HIV in View’ gallery now features entirely new photos including key and underserved populations living with HIV around the world. The geographic scope of the collection now spans the globe, from Europe to North and South America, Africa, and East Asia. The year 2021 has also seen the launch of video footage added to the gallery.
 

Donald Turner [pictured above left], who lives in Ontario, was the first model from Canada to participate in the initiative. “I want to be able to put a new and real face to a person who’s living with HIV,” he said. There is still a long way to go to erase the discrimination and prejudices against people living with HIV. Donald is convinced that “People’s voices are good medicine”. Continued awareness campaigns and better education about HIV-related topics at the global level, especially after this year’s pandemic, may ultimately help change people’s perception of HIV.
 
But bold actions must be taken in all possible channels. The distribution of photos is a concrete and tangible action whose impact on the population can be measured. In the end, the approach is doubly beneficial. It gives content creators the opportunity to better illustrate their words and make their articles more appealing. It also increases society’s exposure to the realities of people living with HIV and thus better raises public awareness.
 
For Dacia Hibbert, General Manager of ViiV Healthcare Canada, reducing HIV-related stigma is also part of the social duty to better integrate people living with HIV and leave no one behind. “For far too long, Canadians have seen limited and outdated representations of what it is to live with HIV, and this partnership with Shutterstock will continue to provide beautiful, authentic images for free and present current and real representations of what it is to live with HIV today”, she said.
 
The ‘HIV in View’ gallery is produced by Shutterstock and created in collaboration with ViiV Healthcare. All images can be downloaded royalty free here: www.shutterstock.com/explore/viiv-collaboration.
 

1 COMMENT
  • Vince December 9, 2021

    What beautiful work! In fact, no matter how many scientific papers there are to try to remove the “terminally ill” stigma from HIV-positive people, people need to see with their own eyes that HIV-positive people are normal people.
    Really, the image has an incredible power, as we can see in advertising campaigns, so congratulations to those involved in this inspiring initiative.

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