People living with HIV have joined an effort to create a collection of photos that illustrate what their lives are like. The images are available in a new online photo gallery called HIV in View. It was produced by Shutterstock Studios and a company called ViiV Healthcare established by pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer.
“Our mission at ViiV Healthcare is to leave no person living with HIV behind,” said Dacia Hibbert, general manager, ViiV Healthcare Canada in a statement. “To see our mission through we must tackle and reduce HIV-related stigma. For far too long, Canadians have seen limited and outdated representations of what it is to live with HIV, and this partnership with Shutterstock will provide authentic photography for free and present the public with current and real representations of what it is to live with HIV today.”
A ‘battle to change negative assumptions’
The statement points out that someone who starts treatment for HIV infection at the age of 20 is now likely to live to the age of 77. Not everyone is aware of this and stigma surrounding AIDS still can hamper people from accessing life-saving treatment and social support systems.
“In the battle to challenge the negative assumptions about HIV, shining a light on the truth can be a potent strategy,” reads the statement. “Sharing the true picture and experiences of people living with HIV is key to undermining stigma.”
The collection of photos is offered free of charge under Shutterstock’s standard license to use in projects, campaigns and communications. Those who need an enhanced license will be charged a fee, all of which will be donated to RED, a non-profit that helps fund the fight to end AIDS.