Rap Battles HIV in Russia

Russia’s immensely popular hip-hop artist Basta recently produced a short video encouraging young people to find out their HIV status. The clip features a soundtrack from one of his latest songs.

 The video, which was co-sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Russia, shows Basta receiving a rapid HIV test, free LOVE condoms and educational materials at a mobile testing unit in St. Petersburg.

It is very important that the younger generation understands that taking an HIV test is easy, fast and free,” Basta says on camera. “Spend five minutes of your time and find out your status to take care of your health and of the lives of your loved ones.” 

“We’ve been working very hard to raise awareness and to make testing much more accessible for everyone,” said AHF Russia Country Program Manager Natalia Mironova. “Basta is a huge celebrity here and his influence will be very helpful to those who may be nervous about being tested or unaware of all the available services.”

The mobile testing unit pictured in the video is co-branded with AHF and partner, Diakonia’s slogan “Russia, get tested!”, a message that has become familiar to the city’s residents and beyond. The video aired on Oct. 6—in conjunction with the St. Petersburg Regional HIV Conference. 

AHF has been working in Russia since 2009 and provides treatment and services in partnership with government health facilities to 25,950 clients.