Living a normal life with HIV: Launch of Two new videos by APCOM and ECHO

By July 9, 2021 July 11th, 2021 Advocacy, Newsroom, Showcase, What We Do

Bangkok, 9 July 2021

APCOM, in collaboration with ECHO produced and launched two videos on issues that people living with HIV (PLHIV) are facing in contemporary Thailand, including opportunities that are presenting themselves, to make the 90-90-90 goals achievable. 

Thailand’s national strategy to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 aims to:

  1. Reduction of new HIV infections to no more than 1,000 cases per year; 
  2. Reduction of AIDS mortality to no more than 4,000 cases per year; 
  3. Reduction of negative discrimination related to HIV and sexual orientation by 90%

According to the most recent data in 2019, there are currently 470,000 PLHIV in Thailand. Around 80 per cent of PLHIV are on treatment, however, to achieve the goal set by UNAIDS in 2030 of getting 90 percent of PLHIV know their status; 90 percent of PLHIV receive sustained antiretroviral therapy; and 90 percent of PLHIV that are on treatment have viral suppression – this needs to be accelerated. 

“Stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV in Thailand is still prevalant. We need to make visible their voices and encourage greater conversation within our community. These videos are conversation starters to provide correct information that If a person tests HIV positive, treatment can begin immediately, living with HIV can lead a very long and ‘normal’ life, and adhering to taking medications can also reduce their viral load to undetectable,”

Midnight Poonkasetwattana, Executive Director of APCOM

The collaboration between APCOM and ECHO aims to make clear the misconceptions of HIV and living with HIV, and lower and remove barriers faced by people living with HIV. ECHO is an online media outlet, which aims to portray and explain social issues that are difficult and have little or no presence in mainstream media. The topics ECHO features are informative and often have a real impact on the communities whose issues come to light, as well as the wider society. 

The first video, “Living with HIV”, takes the viewer on a journey with a person living with HIV and shows that being a PLHIV isn’t the end of the world and that he can lead a normal life. An inspirational video of a person who, for almost 20 years, has lived through the hardships of being discriminated against and living on the margins of Thai society, but is fighting and keeps living and moving on. The video currently has 21,339 views. 

Facebook view: 436k.

Youtube view: 21,371

HIV is just a virus, and that is not not something to be afraid of. I believe that he will have a long normal life because he is normal like all of us. Keep on fighting!!

Anonymous youtube commenter

The second video aims to accurately inform people on the various steps that PLHIV have to take, and how to mentally deal with the many issues that arise from knowing the result. One of the biggest misconceptions of having HIV is that there is no treatment and there is nothing you can do. As the video shows, today there are many things that can be done to keep HIV under control, unlike 40 years ago. and that PLHIV can lead a healthy normal lifestyle with the right treatment, the video has 69,886 views. 

Facebook view: 337k.

Youtube view: 70,167

I’m living with HIV. However, my collogues, friends and family doesn’t mind that or are afraid of me. Because they know that HIV is not what people thought, and it’s not scary. We just have to be diligent and stay healthy ❤️❤️❤️ #frompoz

Anonymous youtube commenter

The videos were produced with the kind support from Gilead and the Equity Initiative.

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