The spread of HIV / AIDS in Russia is often referred to as an epidemic, but the fight against the disease has a special enemy: Denialists who say it's all a joke. They are not only bloggers and celebrities, but also influential physicians.
The human immunodeficiency virus was first discovered in 1983 in the US and France. As headlines announced the grim discovery, the denialists soon followed. Nearly four decades have passed since then, but they are still strong in Russia and abroad.
"HIV / AIDS was an important thing that attracted worldwide attention … and people were trying to find a conspiracy behind it – in the same way. Some people believe that the US moon landing was a joke and that fake footage was produced in Hollywood, "said Anton Krasovsky, an HIV-positive journalist, in & # 39; epidemic & # 39 ;, a new documentary he filmed for RTD. 1
The third patient reportedly healed HIV in an incredible medical breakthrough.
Around one million people in Russia live with HIV, with 86,000 people diagnosed with their disease in 2018 Compared to previous years, the situation has still been described by scientists and experts as "epidemic".
In episode 1, Krasovsky and his film crew undertook a trip to the Irkutsk region, where more than 1.6 percent of the population lived were infected ted. Despite the state of the "generalized epidemic" in the region, Irkutsk is home to one of the country's most vocal HIV deniers, former pathologist Vladimir Ageev.
Ageev, who ran the Department of Pathology at the Medical University there, has written a number of books and made several television appearances. He insisted that HIV was invented by pharmaceutical companies "Only Lies" to profit from it.
"I tell you, you are not infected, you are not ill." Ageev assured Krasovsky when the journalist informed himself about his condition. Ageev dismissed the mountains of scientific research that confirmed the existence of HIV / AIDS, calling the research "manipulated", physicians "basically Nazis" claiming the Nobel Prize was on Scientists who discovered the virus were awarded "crooks".
When Ageev met up with Krasovsky in a darkened swimming pool, he quickly got angry when he insisted on his refusal, insisting that the journalist's illness had another reason. "You are just hiding something," he thundered when Krasovsky told him that he had an otherwise healthy state of health in diagnosing his HIV.
"I work as a therapist. People call me, come from all over to talk to me … and they are all alive, "the former pathologist continued, adding that deadly cases of HIV / AIDS are caused not by the disease, but by conventional treatments.
The actions of Ageev and other deniers with medical diplomas are "a real problem" [YuliaPlotnikovachiefphysicianoftheIrkutskAIDSCentersaid.
"It's an obstacle that can derail." All our efforts in working with patients. We have experienced so many tragedies, such as the death of a child or a woman, "she said, adding that sometimes it is almost impossible to convince people to start treatment. To her disappointment, Plotnikova saw her own educated colleagues affirming demoticism.
"It's even worse when HIV / AIDS denialism is popular among medical professionals," she said. "When medical university professors say that HIV does not exist, their voices are heard."
Krasovsky, head of the AIDS Center Foundation, also talked to former HIV denialist Maria Petrova, who has done so now completely abandoned their old beliefs. Petrova stands in the cemetery where her husband is buried, and is reminded every day of the consequences of the release.
Petrova's late husband, a drug-addicted man, refused treatment. When Petrova got the disease from her husband, she initially decided not to seek medical help. In his view, HIV was "a massive 21st century fraud."
"He just thought it was a joke and he had no illness," she said. "He only ruined me. He destroyed my life. I have no family. I do not have anything; I'm afraid to build anything.
View the full episode here:
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