Pictures against stigma

Yes, a picture is definitely worth 1 000 words’. This was my first thought when I went through the 2012 A Day with HIV gallery. Pictures of these wonderful people were so beautiful and so expressive I remember looking for my ‘’daily pic of the day’’ on twitter. The reason why I loved these pictures was that they did not need explanation to show that HIV is just a virus, and that stigma around this issue can be overcome to live one’s life to the fullest even if diagnosed HIV positive.

A Day with HIV is an anti-stigma project using a photo essay campaign. The objective of this project is to fight HIV related stigma and advance a community of caring. It should be no secret to anyone that globally some thirty four million of people are living with HIV and the stigma associated with HIV remains the first barrier to treatment and care. And this year, everyone from everywhere both HIV positive and negative is invited to celebrate a day with HIV. All you need to do is to take a digital photograph on September 21, to record a moment that will focus attention on the daily trials and triumphs of people living with HIV and those who care for them. Photographs can be submitted by Wednesday 25 on the A Day with HIV website or to The images selected for the photo essay will be announced in October and published in the November/December issue. Positively Aware will produce four covers for this special issue featuring different photos from the campaign that will be chosen by a panel of judges.

 A Day with HIV is in its fourth year and is an initiative by Positively Aware, a magazine devoted to HIV treatment and wellness. More information about last year’s campaign is available at

Benedicte Kouassi