Russian TV host receives homophobic abuse after revealing he is HIV positive live on air
Pavel Lobkov made the announcement to mark World Aids Day.
A Russian TV host has been subjects to a stream of homophobic abuse after announcing he is HIV-positive live on television.
Pavel Lobkov – a presenter on the independent station Dozhd – made the announcement during a show on Tuesday (December 1) evening, to mark World Aids Day.
Lobkov’s announcement makes him the first Russian public figure to openly declare himself HIV positive.
The outspoken presenter also described the horrific moment his diagnosis was revealed ten years ago.
He said he saw “HIV+” written in red on his medical file, before his doctor told him he could no longer receive treatment at the clinic because “you are HIV positive.”
“Today, I accomplished a serious feat in my life,” he said of his revelation.
However, the presenter today took to Facebook to highlight the abuse he has received since make his revelation, before thanking his supporters.
He added that he will continue to “battle with medieval attitudes” and “total everyday lying.”
Earlier this year, Vladimir Putin’s policies were blamed for contributing to the spread of HIV in Russia.
HIV/AIDS is a growing threat in Russia in recent years, with a near-doubling of people who have been diagnosed with HIV from around 500,000 in 2010 to 930,000 people.
Vadim Pokrovsky, head of the Russian AIDS centre, spoke to AFP, warning the state’s approach to issues surrounding sex had exacerbated the problem.
He said: “The last five years of the conservative approach have led to the doubling of the number of HIV-infected people.
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“It has not justified itself.”
HIV prevalence stands at one percent in Russia – growing to as much as three percent in cities such as Tolyatti.
Heterosexual sex is now believed to be responsible for the majority of transmissions, having spread from the country’s gay community.
The Kremlin has pursued a number of increasingly anti-gay policies in recent years, following the introduction of Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay law in 2013.
In addition, it was announced last month that Russia wants to expand anti-gay law to ban all ‘public’ display of homosexuality.