On 1 March, more than one million viewers joined an online discussion with Vera Brezhneva, UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, to mark Zero Discrimination Day.
The goal of the event was to raise awareness of stigma and discrimination. It brought together people of different backgrounds and ages living with HIV to share their personal stories and highlight the importance of zero discrimination in health-care settings.
The discussion was part of the UNAIDS Zero Discrimination Day Make Some Noise campaign, and was cohosted by UNAIDS and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization at United Nations House in Moscow, Russian Federation. The discussion was live streamed on Odnoklassniki, a leading Russian-language social media platform.
UNAIDS estimates that 1.5 million people were living with HIV in eastern Europe and central Asia in 2015, up from 1 million in 2010.
“SILENCE IS NOT AN OPTION. LET’S BREAK DOWN THE WALLS OF FEAR AND PREJUDICE THAT PREVENT PEOPLE FROM GETTING FRIENDLY AND EFFECTIVE MEDICAL CARE AND SUPPORT. DON’T BE SILENT: STAND UP AND SPEAK OUT WHEN PEOPLE ARE TREATED UNFAIRLY.”
VERA BREZHNEVA UNAIDS GOODWILL AMBASSADOR FOR EASTERN EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA
“DISCRIMINATION IS THE MAIN OBSTACLE FOR MILLIONS OF PEOPLE TO ACCESS THE LIFE-SAVING SERVICES ESSENTIAL TO END THE AIDS EPIDEMIC. ACCESS TO HEALTH-CARE SERVICES IS EVERYONE’S RIGHT—NOW LET’S ENSURE THEY DON’T HAVE TO OVERCOME THE BARRIER OF DISCRIMINATION.”
VINAY P. SALDANHA, UNAIDS REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR EASTERN EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA
“AS SOMEONE LIVING WITH HIV, I AM ACCESSING HIV TREATMENT, AND I HAVE REACHED AN UNDETECTABLE VIRAL LOAD. THIS IS SUCH A RELIEF TO KNOW THAT I CANNOT TRANSMIT HIV TO MY WIFE.”
“THE SCIENCE IS CLEAR THAT HIV TREATMENT IS PREVENTION AND WE CAN END THE AIDS EPIDEMIC. BUT WE NEED TO DO MUCH MORE TO ENSURE THAT PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS DO NOT FACE THE BARRIER OF DISCRIMINATION. THIS BEGINS IN MY FAMILY WITH MY BELOVED HUSBAND, WHO LIVES OPENLY WITH HIV.”