Screenshot 2015-09-06 12.00.53Approximately 49% of the people with HIV around the world are women, and those women are the fastest growing patient segment. The incidence of HIV infection in women between 15 and 28 years old is twice as much than in men of the same age.

Considering this, and on the occasion of International Women’s Day (8 March), together with the National Union of People Affected by HIV/AIDS Organizations (UNOPA) and the “Prof. Dr. Matei Bals” National Institute for Infectious Diseases we launched the “A Day in Her Life” campaign, a photo exhibition of five vibrant stories of HIV-infected young women capturing their everyday lives.

The campaign intended to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, in particular with respect to the women living with HIV/AIDS, but also at putting on the public agenda the need to find effective solutions for the social inclusion of people affected by HIV/AIDS. The campaign was designed to highlight the humanity and day-to-day normality of women who live with HIV/AIDS. On 8 March we celebrated these special women, with their dreams and hopes, with their beautiful lives, even if the daily hardships they face are sometimes quite significant. For three days in March, three public places in Bucharest became an unconventional space of reflection and observation of the lives of the five women who live with HIV/AIDS. The North Railway Station, AFI Screenshot 2015-09-06 12.01.05Cotroceni Palace and Baneasa Shopping City commercial centers hosted the “A Day in Her Life” photo show, by well-known photographer Mugur Varzariu. The exhibition tells the story of five young women, stories that capture genuine journeys among hardships, discrimination, power, everyday joy, and emotion. Pro TV, Antena 1, Prima TV, and Realitatea TV television channels covered the stories and the photography project most extensively, with ample newscast segments. In the online media, over 30 articles were published on the most prominent news outlets in Romania like HotNews, Adevarul, Ce se intampla, doctore?, and Click Sanatate. Overall, more than three million viewers saw the campaign messages. We remembered how important it is to communicate visually. “A picture is worth a thousand words” or “Show, don’t tell!” are the phrases that guided us throughout this sensitive, brave, powerful, moving project, which ultimately urges us to gaze deeply into ourselves.

Without a doubt, the idea of using powerful, emotional photos with an impressive backstory was the key to the success of this short, but powerfully resonating campaign.