‘You don’t have AIDS’: Documentary takes on Russia’s top HIV denialist

The unfold of HIV/AIDS in Russia is commonly known as an epidemic, however the combat in opposition to the illness has a peculiar enemy: denialists who say it is all a hoax. They aren’t simply bloggers and celebrities, however influential medics too.

The human immunodeficiency virus was first found in 1983 within the US and France. As newspaper headlines introduced the grim discovery, the denialists quickly adopted. Almost 4 a long time have handed since, however they’re nonetheless going robust in Russia and overseas.

“HIV/AIDS was a major thing that drew global attention… and people tried to find a conspiracy behind all that – much the same way that some people believe that the US Moon landing was a hoax, and the fake footage was produced in Hollywood,” Anton Krasovsky, an HIV-positive journalist, stated in ‘Epidemic’, a brand new documentary he shot for RTD.

There are round a million individuals dwelling with HIV in Russia, with 86 thousand studying of their sickness in 2018. Though 2018’s figures represented a slight lower in comparison with earlier years, scientists and specialists nonetheless confer with the state of affairs as an “epidemic.”

In Episode 1, Krasovsky and his movie crew made a journey to Irkutsk Region, the place greater than 1.6 p.c of the inhabitants are contaminated. Despite the area’s state of ‘generalized epidemic’, Irkutsk is residence to one of many nation’s most vocal HIV deniers, former pathologist Vladimir Ageev. 

Ageev, who headed the pathology division on the native medical college, has written quite a lot of books and made a number of TV appearances, insisting that HIV is “all lies” invented by pharmaceutical firms with a purpose to acquire revenue.

I’m telling you, you aren’t contaminated, you aren’t sick,” Ageev assured Krasovsky when the journalist opened up about his situation. Dismissing the mountains of scientific analysis confirming the existence of HIV/AIDS, Ageev known as the analysis “manipulated,” medical doctors “basically Nazis,” and claimed that the Nobel Prize given to the European scientists who found the virus was awarded by “crooks.”

Meeting with Krasovsky in a darkened pool corridor, Ageev was fast to anger when pressed on his denialism, and insisted that the journalist’s illness had one other trigger. “You are just hiding something,” he thundered when Krasovsky instructed him he had an in any other case clear invoice of well being when his HIV was recognized.

“I am working as a therapist. People call me, come to talk to me from all over… and they’re all alive,” the previous pathologist continued, including that deadly circumstances of HIV/AIDS will not be attributable to the illness, however by typical remedies for it.

The actions of Ageev and different deniers with medical diplomas are “a real problem,” Yulia Plotnikova, chief physician of the Irkutsk AIDS heart, stated.

Read More Here