Blog Home Business What It’s Really Like to Live with HIV: A Collaboration with ViiV Healthcare

This World AIDS Day, Shutterstock is bringing real-life stories to the forefront with a new, high-resolution gallery of images depicting what living with HIV really looks like today. This first-of-its kind collection presents an updated, accurate view of people living full, active lives in four countries ranging from Kenya to the United Kingdom. When ViiV Healthcare first outlined how stigma still impacts people living with HIV, it immediately sparked the interest and passion of many of us at Shutterstock who also wanted to help shift the world’s perception of HIV and move away from outdated stereotypes.

Conquering Stereotypes
One of Shutterstock’s goals is to help shift the world’s perception of outdated stereotypes concerning HIV.

Finding Global Creators with Ease

Leveraging our global network of over one million creators was key to capturing content quickly and efficiently. Whether seeking out a photographer to work with a participant in the United Kingdom, Portugal, or beyond, our producers were able to find skilled, experienced creatives who shared their passion for the assignment.

“It was an honor to be part of this project,” says Portuguese photographer Miguel Oliveira. “Telling stories that most people don’t get to know is part of my DNA . . . It’s important to share these stories [because it leads to] more acceptance.”

Experienced Creators
It was our goal to find experienced, passionate creators for this project.

Multiple Sets – One Production

By crafting detailed briefs and conducting pre-production video interviews with photographers, our producers were able to ensure that the resulting content was cohesive no matter where it was captured. Our streamlined approach to project management ultimately led to a smooth end-to-end production, regardless of location, time zone, or local limitations imposed by the global pandemic.

The Importance of Content
It was important to our producers that the resulting content was cohesive no matter where it was captured.

Breaking the Stigma

Unlike typical days on set, these shoots feature real-life people who were willing to share their lives and stories on camera. The goal was to create content that reflects their reality, and that ultimately impacts representation in the media of those living with HIV.

Living with HIV has undoubtedly changed in recent years, and we believe that the content available should reflect that. The “HIV in View” gallery will be free of charge for all standard usage, while any upgraded licensing fees will be donated to (RED), a non-profit organization.  This will further encourage the awareness objectives and help others anywhere in the world tell their stories around this important topic. From photos of the participants navigating their careers, enjoying leisure time, or connecting with loved ones, our gallery reflects authentic, everyday moments that will resonate with viewers.

Breaking the Stigma
Changing the stigma concerning HIV is key to future treatment.

“I think changing the world’s view around HIV is very important because it influences issues around stigma,” says Rebecca, one of the participants who is featured. “The more aware people are, the less stigmatized they are. It allows people living with HIV to lead a much more normal life.” She continues, “If people’s attitudes can move at the same pace that treatment has, then it’s really, really hopeful . . . The future’s looking bright.”


Explore even more moments in history with these photo tours from the Shutterstock archives: