Audio version of fairy-tale for children with HIV
Actors from the Patient Zero television series have recorded an audio fairy-tale for children living with HIV
The idea for doing a voice-over for the Droplets of Health fairy tale has come from the Children+ charity.
Actors from the Patient Zero series, the first episode of which was shown last spring, have recorded the audio fairy tale on the mobile reading app Bookmate. This is available to all, including those who do not have a Plus subscription.
The story explains to HIV-positive children how to live safely with the virus. The storytellers are Evgeny Stychkin, Askar Ilyasov, Elizaveta Shakira, Pavel Maikov and Ivan Dobronravov. A girl who is under the care of the Children+ charity also reads the story along with the actors.
How it all started
The story has been written by Elena Pozdnyakova and Veronika Zolotova for the Children+ charity which has been supporting children and teenagers with HIV since 2015. In the story, a king and queen, who have long dreamt of having a child, find a boy and raise him as their own. Then it is revealed that the prince has the evil Vitrikus virus. In order to fight the disease, the prince sets off on a journey and along the way learns why it is important to take regular medication and not to tell anyone about Vitrikus.
The story has been distributed in paper form in AIDS centres in nearly all Russian regions. After Patient Zero was shown on television, the charity suggested that the actors provide the voice-over for it.
Why it is needed
“We decided it would be cool to record the story with the Patient Zero team and pass on the baton once the series had finished. Now that we have broached the subject, it is right that we take responsibility and try to change things in some way. The actors agreed straight away”, explained the actor and director Evgeny Stychkin.
Stychkin added that “it is hard for children living with HIV to fully comprehend what they are facing so it was important to make the story light, entertaining but not preachy in tone,” said Askar Ilyasov, a Kazakh actor. “It would be great to translate the story into Kazakh and arrange for it to be read to people living with HIV, given the reluctance within Kazakh society to have an open and honest conversation about such issues”.
The actress Elizaveta Shakira said that “it is important to educate a whole new generation to be more tolerant, informed and socially aware. Maybe in this way HIV can cease to be a taboo subject and for stereotypical attitudes surrounding the virus to become a thing of the past”.