In a country where gay people are persecuted by society and the state, even getting tested for HIV is fraught with problems
‘Condoms can’t protect you from HIV,” says Vladislav Ivanov, a 34-year-old hotel worker from Rostov-on-Don. He is one of an estimated 1.5 million people in Russia living with HIV. And because he is not receiving treatment, he is at a high risk of passing on the virus.
Does this worry him? “Yes, but I still don’t wear condoms because I don’t like them. Most people in Russia think condoms can’t protect you from HIV. People think of them only in terms of contraception.”