„The virus”, a sweeping story about stigma and discrimination against people living with hiv

PODGORICA, Tuesday, 19 April – KIC Budo Tomovic hosted “The Virus”, a moving theater play about love, happiness, belonging and pain of rejection and discrimination. A play written by Sinisa Kovacevic, directed by Dragan Knezevic and performed by Akord – Youth Theatre from Niksic is a story about the problems faced by the people living with HIV and the ways the other people perceive them.

The play tells the story of a rock star who gets infected with HIV. The story further shows reactions of his girlfriend and family in relation to his “tragic guilt”. In addition, the play realistically depicts dramatic reactions caused by ignorance about the infection and panic fear from it. In this way, almost all parties involved are at the same time are victims and executors.

The idea of the play was to use art to improve the knowledge and the level of public awareness of HIV/AIDS issues, especially when it comes to the comprehensive struggle against deeply embedded prejudices and ignorance regarding HIV transmission modes.

The play “Virus” left no one in the audience indifferent.

Bojana: It’s the first time I saw the play and I have to say that I’m leaving the theatre very disturbed. However, it helped me realize how realistic the possibility of getting HIV really is and how devastating are the consequences the infection brings to people living with HIV and their family members. I will definitely recommend the play to all my friends, as through it one can truly imagine such a situation happening in his/her vicinity. The play definitely makes you think a bit about your own living habits.

Milan: I’ve seen the play before, but the feeling was again the same. I felt sad and shocked seeing the ignorance regarding the HIV/AIDS and the rejection people living with HIV are facing. I was deeply shaken by the sentence said by the young rock star’s father, when he got desperate while under attack of his family to do something with his son. The sentence was something like: “What do you want me to do with him and other people with HIV?! Should we arrest them, take them to the city square and shoot them all, while the national television would make a live broadcast of the execution?!” Really dreadful.

The play has been supported by the National Commission for HIV/AIDS and Country Coordinating Mechanism for HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis. It has been financially supported by UNDP, within the implementation of “Support to Implementation of HIV/AIDS Strategy in Montenegro” project, funded by Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM); UNAIDS, Fund for Active Citizenship (FAKT), NGO Montevita and Ministry of Culture of Montenegro.