HIV in View

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.1 Despite this progress, 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.2 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.

A unique collaboration between ViiV Healthcare and Shutterstock Studios

It was exactly this intent that inspired the idea of a unique collaboration between ViiV Healthcare and Shutterstock Studios, one of the world’s most popular and respected online photography platforms. Trusted by businesses and creative industries all over the world, the Shutterstock image library offers access to more than 300 million images sourced from more than one million different contributors. World AIDS Day 2020 witnessed the launch of a first-of-its-kind Shutterstock Studios HIV image gallery – ‘HIV in View’. By making empowering images available to the public for free and collaborating with ViiV Healthcare, Shutterstock Studios is presenting a picture of living with HIV that the world needs to see.

The launch of the ‘HIV in View’ gallery marks the culmination of a year of work and collaboration between ViiV Healthcare, Shutterstock Studios, individual photographers and people living with HIV in the UK, Portugal, Kenya and Uruguay. Focused on the real-life experiences of people in very different places, the gallery shows these individuals leading rich and rewarding lives. Far from reflecting the fear once associated with HIV, the Shutterstock Studios gallery is filled with inspiring examples of just how much things have changed for many people living with HIV.

Working with inspiring individuals to change the way the world views HIV

This amazing project would not have been possible without the support of the people living with HIV who shared their story and welcomed cameras into their lives. Over the course of the year it took to create the library, the team was fortunate to meet some uniquely inspiring individuals whose stories will hopefully make a difference in how the world views HIV.

Meet the people living with HIV and the photographers – our catalysts for change – whose support has made the gallery possible.

Doreen Moracha, aged 28, from Nairobi, Kenya, 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.”

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Doreen Moracha participating in a photoshoot in Kenya.

Kit Oates, 33, from London, one of the first photographers to photograph for the gallery, said: “There’s a lot of images out there that paint a certain worldview, that just isn’t true anymore. People are living fantastic lives with HIV and we need to rewrite that script a little bit. And these images are going to help do that.”

Uniting together to make a change

At ViiV Healthcare, we have made 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. World AIDS Day 2020 marks the start of this ambitious and exciting journey. To make yourself part of this movement for positive change, visit the Shutterstock HIV gallery online here. All the images in the gallery are completely free to use.* Every image used and shared is another step in the right direction to create a more authentic worldview of HIV.

*The HIV in View collection will be offered for free under Shutterstock’s standard license to use in projects, campaigns and communications. Users who require the enhanced license will be charged the higher license fee, of which 100% of the proceeds will be donated to (RED), a non-profit organisation helping fund the fight to end AIDS, at the discretion of Shutterstock. For additional information on the license comparison, visit: https://www.shutterstock.com/license-comparison

References

  1. May et al. Impact on life expectancy of HIV-1 positive individuals of CD4+ cell count and viral load response to antiretroviral therapy. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24556869/ Last accessed: November 2020.
  2. Avert. HIV stigma and discrimination. Available at: https://www.avert.org/professionals/hiv-social-issues/stigma-discrimination Last accessed: November 2020.