• Christina Antoniadi

Positive stories: Living and Working in HIV in the Russian Federation

JD is a young woman, living and working as a social advocate in the Russian Federation. She became involved in the field of HIV after her own diagnosis. In her interview she highlights what living with HIV means for her and the strength it has filled her with.

Name: JD

Country of residence: Russian Federation

Country of origin: Russian Federation

Profession: social advocacy

What is your involvement in the HIV field? Advocacy, counselling, coordinating educational projects of PLWH.

How has HIV influenced and / or shaped your everyday life and habits?

- It made me calm & wiser

- It helped to become tolerant and more open minded towards people

- it gave me close friends

- it gave me the job of my dream where I can help people & really do some difference in others life

- it gave me a profession where I grow, learn and respect myself for what I am doing

- it made me more attentive and responsible towards myself and my own health & life

Living almost a half of my life (18 years) with HIV gave me a very natural feeling about it, I got used to be HIV positive. Most positive events & changes in my life are related to this period.

What are the key priorities in your opinion presently in the HIV field?

- Access to treatment for all who needs it

- Reducing stigma

- Prevention

Are you involved in women projects at the moment?

- volunteering to help women IDU in recovery and social adaptation, most of them live with HIV/HCV. Peer-to-peer counseling

How does U=U translates for a woman living with HIV?

- Undetectable = Untransmittable – important message that can in theory help to improve stigma issues

What is your view about disclosing ones status in the era of U=U?

- For our region is it still an issue, that is hard to achieve

What are in your opinion the biggest misconception about a woman living with HIV?

- Public stigmatisation that affects the majority of women living with HIV

In your experience what works best when it comes to supporting women living with HIV?

- Medical proved facts about HIV

- Personal successful experience about living with HIV

- Ability to comprehend and to feel unity with her without pity

What do you think is the most important message presently for women living with HIV in Europe?

- If you are taking treatment you can live the same life as people without HIV

Do you have any message, advise or wish for the women living with HIV in Europe?

- A wish – to give a chance for the new opportunities for yourself, HIV can be a start, not the end

If you would like to contact us with regards to this interview please use the following email address: eatg4women@eatg.org

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