David is 29 years old. He is a refugee and lives in Kyrgyzstan with his boyfriend Dimitry. Both are originally from Uzbekistan, one of the most dangerous countries in the world for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.
Photo by Chris de Bode © Aidsfonds
The spread of HIV will not be stopped and reversed without a relentless focus on key populations
Key populations (sex workers, people who use drugs, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people) are hit hard and disproportionately by HIV, with a million new infections a year – that’s half the total worldwide. It is often difficult for them to have any control over the risks they face. They have to deal with a toxic mix of legal, political and social factors which can institutionalise stigma and social exclusion.
I dream of a world where everyone is accepted for who they are.Bradley (26), Botswana
Rajesh, Bradley, Cindy and Thuan invite you to step into their world and experience what it is like to be a drug user living with HIV in Nepal, a young gay man in Botswana, a female sex worker in Uganda or a male sex worker in Vietnam. The exhibition features a unique combination of photos made by these community members themselves and complementary photos that were made by award winning photographer Chris de Bode. Through their photo stories, we wanted to create more visibility about the challenges they encounter and the HIV risks they face.
Bridging the Gaps
The photo exhibition was developed by Bridging the Gaps. Bridging the Gaps is a joint initiative of more than 90 grassroots organisations which collaborate with four Dutch non-governmental organisations, namely Aids Fonds, AFEW International, Federation of Dutch Associations for the Integration of Homosexuality (COC), and Mainline, and with five global networks, which are the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+), International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD), International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC), Global Forum of MSM and HIV (MSMGF) and Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP). Together we address the human rights violations and challenges faced by sex workers, people who use drugs and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, in accessing much-needed HIV and health services.