UNESCO IITE presents: The curious case of Vanya Pugovkin

Within the framework of «Virtual Classroom» project UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE) and popular “edutainment” YouTube channel «Nauchpok» on 1 December, World AIDS Day, released animated cartoon about HIV.

The main character of this cartoon, Vanya Pugovkin, is a statistically average person who is young, successful and dreams to be as famous as Mark Zuckerberg. He takes medicine three times a day – just as other 17 million people living with HIV around the world do. He has never done any drugs, neither had he received a blood transfusion, but once he forgot to buy condoms… He dreams big and makes great plans for the future – Vanya has a girlfriend whom he will not infect because he uses a condom, and eventually they will be able to have healthy children. How can it be? Vanya is now able to live a normal life just like any other person thanks to the early and correct diagnosis and his adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART).

Plain and simple, this cartoon not only captures the impact that HIV has on human body and the perception of this disease in society – especially in terms of the HIV/AIDS denialism movement. The video also aims is to dispel popular stereotypes about the modes of HIV transmission (no reason to worry at all in case of mosquito bites or a handshake with HIV+ person) and the most vulnerable groups (unfortunately, nowadays the virus can spread far beyond the «traditional» risk groups).

Three days after the video was released, it got more than 100 thousand views. The full version of the cartoon «The curious case of Vanya Pugovkin» is available online under the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysFE1-DNtpk (in Russian)

For information: Today, the Russian Federation has a population of about 146 million people. By the end of 2015, more than 800 thousand people were estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS. Every five minutes, someone becomes infected with HIV in Russia. Out of all newly detected cases of HIV, almost 45% account for unprotected sexual contacts (without a condom). 

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