The Association for support of people living with HIV, Stronger Together, decided with Savion Ray’s help to make a social experiment.
In Macedonia, the media is constantly creating animosity around HIV/Aids. People living with the virus experience discrimination, in particular from the side of medical personnel.
Thanks to HIV support groups, the community is closer than ever and people can get to know each other. The horror stories reached everyone. The result? A pronounced fear of discrimination, and a tendency to hide from the world. In particular, a fear of prejudice leads people living with HIV to avoid sharing their status publicly. Not one person has claimed they feel comfortable to share the information with their wider group of friends.
After years of campaigning for awareness, the community still didn’t know whether the attitude of the wider public was also discriminatory. Is this prejudice shared by the masses or only from a selected few?
The Association for support of people living with HIV, Stronger Together, decided to find out if the fear is justified. Not through formal research, but through a method that would be visible to everyone – a social experiment.
Savion Ray decided that, in order to answer the question, Macedonians would need to be in contact with a person with HIV knowingly.
So we put by-passers from Skopje City Park in a situation of physical contact with an HIV positive person.
A young gentleman serving coffee was wearing a t-shirt saying “I am HIV positive.”
We included a participant who acted as if she was in the line for coffee, pointing out that the person serving has HIV.
How would people react to such a situation?
Brugmannlaan 217, 1050 Elsene, Belgium