02 October 2019
Psychologist and social activist Svetlana Izambaeva reiterates the importance of HIV awareness

A meeting at the Higher School of Journalism was dedicated to a discussion about HIV coverage in media.

A first question to the guest was about why this very pressing social issue is not widely discussed. As Ms. Izambaeva noted, some people think that this topic not pertinent anymore. “Today, 67 percent of infections are transmitted through sexual intercourse. The youngest HIV-positive person in Russia is one month old, and the most senior is 92 years old. We in Russia have not yet succeeded in stopping the growth of HIV, and we are at a point where we do not yet talk enough about it. People continue to have unsafe sexual encounters,” she added.

She shared that she’s been diagnosed with HIV 17 years ago and has been in treatment for 13 years. Medications help her maintain an active and fruitful lifestyle.

Unfortunately, Russia is currently one of the countries with the worst HIV growth dynamics. Every day, 250 people get infected here.

Izambaeva is convinced that HIV and AIDS should be discussed year round. “Every city has an AIDS center where you can undergo free medical test and receive psychological help. There are also nonprofit organizations and charities. If we want to think strategically, we should persuade each person who visits a doctor with a cold to take a HIV test.”

Students were very interested in the discussion and asked many questions, especially about how to support people who have received news about their HIV status.


Source text: Larisa Busil

Photos: Maxim Zaretsky

Translation: Yury Nurmeev

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