Photographs taken by 170 people around the world on 21 September 2012 that collectively tells the story of the battles and victories of living with HIV are now in an online photo essay, A Day with HIV.
Participants in the A Day with HIV photo essay include couples, families, friends and work colleagues, be they HIV positive or HIV negative, in an effort to also shatter the stigma that can accompany HIV.
“A Day with HIV, Positively Aware’s anti-stigma photo campaign, tears down the walls of shame and silence that surround HIV by showing that, despite HIV, life goes on,” said Jeff Berry, editor of Positively Aware.
“By coming together on that one day, we build a virtual community of support and help raise awareness about HIV, not only in our own communities, but everywhere.”
The collection of photographs also chronicles how people with HIV juggle their regimen of medicine and care.
Michael Vatilla from Norton, Ohio, for example, holds a sheet of paper that tallies the hundreds of dollars worth of medications he takes daily and includes a plea to “make meds more accessible to everyone.”
Now in its third year, the A Day with HIV campaign drew photo entries from 10 countries. Forty-four photos have been selected from more than 170 that had been submitted to be included in the November-December issue of Positively Aware.
Top photo: “I work in an allergy lab,” said Gustavo Gimenez of New York City. “At today’s meeting, we went over a case presentation of a patient with a complicated drug allergy. Unfortunately, his treatment options were further complicated because he had vertically transmitted HIV. I wanted to show in this picture that this anonymous case became personal, and that it struck a nerve. While I may never know who this patient is, I would like to wish him the best and show that I care”
David Duran of San Francisco, California, practices his daddy skills with his best friend’s son. “Today is just like any other day. I’m living my life and enjoying spending time with my loved ones. One day soon, I hope to have a child, and raise him or her in a world without HIV or the stigma that surrounds it.” Photo via Positively Aware 2012