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Sasha Volgina, a 31-years old Russian, is HIV positive and pregnant. At the moment, Russia has the fastest growing AIDS-epidemic in the world. More than 1 million Russian people have HIV, most of them younger than 35.
In the meantime, there are not enough medicines available, the government does not invest in HIV prevention, and drug-users are being criminalized. Sasha leads a group of activists trying to do something about this situation. Filmmaker Jan Jaap Kuiper follows her in her daily struggle for survival.
Sasha’s activists’ group goes out to the streets to protest against the shortages of anti-retroviral drugs and the stigma of HIV. However, it’s almost impossible to legally protest in Russia: the demonstrations have to be prepared secretly and often result in arrests. It’s not only medicine shortages that Sasha and her colleagues are fighting against. Like many youngsters in Russia, Sasha started to use heroin in 1990’s, to escape from the country’s hard political and economical reality. Now, 10 years later, she wants to take distance from her own drug addict past, bear a healthy child and become a good mother. But this is not easy to achieve in a present-day Russia, where HIV/AIDS is still considered a “sinners’ disease”.