Commemorating World AIDS Day this week ViiV Healthcare and Shutterstock Studios have partnered to launch “HIV in View,” an online photo gallery created to help shift the world’s perception of HIV and move away from outdated stereotypes.
The collection, curated with the support of those living with HIV, will be free for all to access and use in projects, campaigns, and communications in the hope that it will break down stigmas that still exist as those living with HIV live longer, healthier lives.
Representation in the media is an increasingly important topic in today’s world—though these conversations should extend to include characteristics beyond race and gender.
The gallery, which depicts those worldwide living with HIV, comes amid a surge in demand for authentic, fresh content as media and marketing communications look to promote diversity and inclusion in our modern society.
Across four countries (the United Kingdom, Kenya, Uruguay, Portugal), people living with HIV stepped forward to be among the first photographed for this gallery, embarking on a shared ambition to help shift the world’s perception of HIV and move away from outdated stereotypes. From World AIDS Day 2020, the gallery will be free for all to access and use in projects, campaigns and communications* in the hope that it will increase awareness around HIV and break down barriers to stigma that still exist.
Doreen Moracha, aged 28, from Nairobi, Kenya, one of the first people to be photographed for the gallery and HIV Advocate, said, “I am so proud to be one of the first people to be photographed for the HIV in View gallery and to be part of a movement for change to represent real people living with HIV, their stories and experiences. Until the world sees HIV for what it really is, we are not going to make the progress we need to disrupt stereotypes of what it’s like to live with HIV. If my photographs can change just one person’s opinion of what it means to live with HIV today, I will know we are a step closer to reaching this goal.”
Today, living with HIV is a very different experience from just ten years ago. Advances in prevention, treatment and care mean that people living with HIV can live longer, healthier lives, with a person starting treatment at 20 years old now able to expect to see their 77th birthday. Despite these advances, people living with HIV face unique challenges that affect their quality of life every day. Stigma remains a stubbornly persistent threat to the health and well-being of many people living with HIV, and can often impact their ability to consistently access life-saving treatments 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. Sharing the true picture and experiences of people living with HIV is key to undermining stigma.
Deborah Waterhouse, CEO, ViiV Healthcare, said, “At ViiV Healthcare, our mission is to leave no person living with HIV behind and reducing HIV-related stigma is key to achieving this. For too long, the public has been presented with outdated representations of what it is to live with HIV. Working with Shutterstock has underlined how a lack of widely accessible, present-day HIV imagery continues to hold us back. With the launch of the ‘HIV in View’ gallery, people across the world can now download authentic photography for free. As a company, we are making a pledge to use images of real people living with HIV across all of our platforms, where applicable, moving forward and we encourage others to do the same. Living with HIV has changed, and we invite the world to help us show this.”
Michael Carfagnini, GM Global Shutterstock Studios, said, “ViiV Healthcare’s work in continuing to fight HIV-related stigma until people living with HIV are understood and accepted sparked a unique opportunity for Shutterstock to collaborate through powerful visuals. There is always a need for authentic and fresh imagery accurately depicting what it’s like to live with HIV. At Shutterstock, we strive to empower the world’s storytellers through our content and services such as those offered through our new Studios division enabling brands and agencies to tell their unique stories. This presented an opportunity to prove the effectiveness and adaptability of our global network of contributors who would be tasked with safely depicting this crucial story, in a much more challenging time to do photography and videography with a pandemic limiting production around the world. This project and the various teams involved both at Shutterstock and ViiV Healthcare truly demonstrated the impact passion brings to creative projects, and we saw the same quality from our contributors and people living with HIV featured in the imagery.”
The ‘HIV in View’ gallery is produced by Shutterstock and created in collaboration with ViiV Healthcare. All images can be downloaded royalty free here