21 October, 2016 07:50

HIV-positive people and participants of the reality show Ukrainian Supermodel dispelled the myths about HIV/AIDS

October 21, 2016, an episode of the Ukrainian Supermodel project third season, which was produced jointly with the Elena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation was released on the Novy TV Channel. HIV-positive people took part in it. They talked with the participants of the show and walked the runway with them in a special fashion-show to dispel myths about the ways of HIV transmission and to draw attention to the need for a tolerant attitude towards people whose lives have been changed by the HIV infection.
HIV-positive people and participants of the reality show Ukrainian Supermodel dispelled the myths about HIV/AIDS / Elena Pinchuk Foundation

Their participation in one of the most popular youth reality show in Ukraine is in itself a unique and unprecedented event. It was the best proof of the changes that occurred in our country in regards to the HIV/AIDS issue perception.

The ninth episode of the Ukrainian Supermodel-3 show on that day was watched by 12.52 percent of the audience from 14 to 49 years old (in the towns with population over 50 thousand people). This means that this episode was seen by 3.96 million people throughout Ukraine.

The participants of the reality show got acquainted with HIV-positive people, initially not knowing about their disease. Viewers saw the whole range of emotions that models experienced when the guests of the program revealed their status. During the joint runway show, that was the main part of the show, the models and their guests split into pairs. Each of them performed a story dedicated to one of the false stereotypes about ways HIV is transmitted or about HIV-positive people. They showed that hugging, kissing, sharing things or eating one apple are all safe actions that would transmit HIV.

The fashion brand SIYA (designer Sia Didenko) provided clothing for the models and their partners for their runway performance, and the social fashion brand Fashion AID 

(Elena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation project) provided t-shirts with prints on safe sex. This is symbolic, because more than 60 percent of all new HIV infections in Ukraine occur precisely through unprotected sex.

During the shooting of the episode, the founder of the ANTIAIDS Foundation, Elena Pinchuk, joined the participants of the program. She came to congratulate one of the participants on her birthday — 16-year-old Dasha, who she has a long-standing friendship with. The ANTIAIDS Foundation has been supporting and helping her family for many years. And exactly nine years ago, in 2007, Dasha and Elena spent an evening together at a concert of a famous musician — Sir Elton John, who gave his first charity concert in Kiyv, on Independence Square. After meeting with Elena in 2016, Dasha was happy, taking home to Odessa a long-awaited gift — the dog she had dreamed about.

The filming of Ukrainian Supermodel was the second major project where HIV-positive people took part at the initiative of the ANTIAIDS Foundation.

In 2009, during the gala concert of the season's most-rated TV show, "Star Factory 3", the song by Konstantin Meladze was dedicated to the fight against AIDS. Participants of the "Factory" and their guest sang it — an HIV-positive young man who, at the invitation of the Elena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation, spent a week in the Star House along with the "Factory population". Seven years later, Fyodor took part in the filming of "Ukrainian Supermodel" — together with his wife Olga he walked the runway, continuing the tradition of participating in the best shows of the Novy TV Channel.

In addition, in 2011, ten unique prints of the Fashion AID t-shirts collection were designed specifically for the World AIDS Day based on the ideas of the Novy TV Channel stars — journalists and showmen. Each of them personally created a t-shirt with a bright print and modern design. These prints can still be ordered online at fashion-aid.in.ua.

Olga Rudneva, Director of the Elena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation: "Thirteen years ago, our team had a dream that children with HIV could have their first graduation. Not even necessarily "children". Just for Nadia, Vadik, Polina and Yana to live to have their graduation. For them to be aware of their diagnosis, but not let it prevent them from living. Back then we could not even dream of them taking part in popular TV shows and openly talking about their status. Because thirteen years ago we didn’t know how long children with HIV would live in Ukraine. That is why for us the project with the Novy TV Channel is so important. In the most popular TV show, HIV-positive people can participate openly, and together with other participants of the "Ukrainian Supermodel" show they will talk about ways HIV can be transmitted in clear manner. And for us this is our little common victory".

Alexey Gladushevsky, Head of the creative association, which is engaged in the shooting of the show: "Unlike all episodes, this one is special. For the first time in our show we have a double runway dedicated to the HIV/AIDS issue, where our girls will perform with partners. Together with the models, HIV-positive guys and girls, who are very friendly and confident, will come out on the runway. We want to convey to our viewers that despite the diagnosis one can and should continue to live and enjoy life and not experience problems or dramas because of their status".

Daniil Stolbunov, 18-year-old participant of the show: "I have been living with HIV since birth, but I learned about it from my mother when I was 8 years old. At first there was a stress, it seemed that a time bomb was ticking inside me. But now I defeated the virus psychologically. And I am helping others to do that. For two years now, I have been working in the non-profit organization Teenergizer, created by teenagers and for teenagers. We help children with HIV, first of all, psychologically and legally. I feel that I can change the lives of many people! "


How is HIV transmitted? HIV can be transmitted through unprotected sexual contact with an infected person, through transfusion of infected blood, and through the use of infected needles, syringes, or other sharp instruments. It can also be passed from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.

How isn’t HIV transmitted? You will not become infected through common dishes, when using a shared toilet, shower and bath, bedding, handshakes and hugs, through a kiss, through sweat or tears, by coughing and sneezing. You cannot get HIV in the pool, while playing sports, through an insect bite or from animals.

Ukrainian Supermodel is an adaptation of the Spanish format Supermodello. The format of the project is reality show. Castings were conducted throughout Ukraine; the creators were looking for girls who would represent Ukraine in the world of high fashion. After show ends many graduates build a stunning modeling career, shining on the pages of fashion magazines and walking Ukrainian and world runways. The host of this reality show is the world-famous top model of Ukrainian origin Alla Kostromicheva (her track record consists of work with Alexander McQueen, Hermes, Christian Dior, YSL and Givenchy fashion houses; repeated appearance on the covers of Vogue, L’officiel, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle magazines).

The ANTIAIDS Foundation was founded by Elena Pinchuk in September 2003. This is the first and the only charity established with private funds and aiming at fighting against the AIDS epidemic in Ukraine. During thirteen years of work, the Foundation has been engaged in the prevention of HIV/AIDS and has provided assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS. The Foundation aims to work at all levels, from nationwide projects to targeted assistance to people affected by the AIDS epidemic. The Foundation also implements innovative interactive projects using web technologies: social services maps.in.ua in cooperation with Google, online auction “Stars for sale” in cooperation with Korrespondent.net, a social brand Fashion AID, a joint project with Coca-Cola Foundation Safe Connection.

For detailed information, please, contact Pavel Piminov, Communications Director, Elena Pinchuk Foundation: +380 44 490 4805, [email protected].


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