A documentary on the inspiring efforts of communities
working on the streets of Russia to try and halt the HIV epidemic.

About the Film

‘Nonexistent? We Exist!’ is a documentary film about the communities of people living with HIV in Russia.

It tells the story of how the members of the most vulnerable communities affected by the HIV epidemic, such as drug users, sex workers, and LGBTQ people, struggle for survival and dignity in a hostile cultural and political environment. Through their eyes, it shows the successes and challenges civil society organisations face when they implement HIV prevention, treatment, and care services in 7 Russian cities: Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Naberezhnye Chelny, Almetyevsk, Kazan and Kaliningrad.

The movie is not only about these communities - it was produced by the members of the same communities.

Created in partnership with Drug Users News and with support from Rights Reporter Foundation, the film reveals street outreach work, interviews with clients, personal success stories, and the continuous fight for one's life - all sides of the Program which are not often shown in official reports, yet remain some of the most important.

The film summarises the life saving efforts funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. One of the main issues regarding this work is the lack of mechanisms for continuous funding of these vital efforts, which needs critical attention from Russian and foreign donors. Our film allows you to find out exactly what funding can go towards for the continuation of this work, which is so important for the preservation of services and support for people whose right to health is not always fully upheld due to various barriers.

Still images from the film and the filming process


Camera: István Gábor Takács and Alexei Kurmanaevskii

Editing & post production: Igor Kuzmenko

Screenplay: Alexei Kurmanaevskii and Igor Kuzmenko

Titles & posters: Igor Kuzmenko

Narration: Alexei Kurmanaevskii

Translation: Pоlinа Tal Meltzer

Produced by DUNews, with support of Rights Reporter Foundation, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and "The Candle" Charity Fund.

Producers: Peter Sarosi, István Gábor Takács, Michail Golichenko, Alexei Kurmanaevskii, Igor Kuzmenko, Maria Jakovleva and Alena Asaeva.