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Can you be big boned: Big boned: Not a reason to be overweight

Big boned: Not a reason to be overweight

Being big boned means having wider bones. You can figure out if you’re big boned by measuring your wrist.

“I weigh more because I’m big boned.”

Dr. Brenda Banaszynski, a Marshfield Clinic family medicine physician, has disappointing news if you’ve been saying this to explain your weight.

You can be big boned, but larger bone structure doesn’t account for much extra weight, she said

Big boned means wider bones

Some people have bigger bones, Banaszynski said. For example, their wrists and elbows appear larger and may not be able to wear standard-sized watches and bracelets.

Measure your wrist to find out if you’re really big boned, since “body frame size is determined by a person’s wrist circumference in relation to height,” according to the National Institutes of Health.

People with the following measurements are considered large boned:


  • Less than 5 feet 2 inches tall and wrist size larger than 5. 75 inches
  • 5 feet 2 inches to 5 feet 5 inches tall and wrist size larger than 6.25 inches
  • More than 5 feet 5 inches tall and wrist size larger than 6.5 inches


  • More than 5 feet 5 inches tall and wrist size larger than 7.5 inches.

Big bones don’t mean (much) extra weight

“Larger bones might account for a few pounds of weight but not 30 or 40,” Banaszynski said. “It’s not going to be the difference between a healthy body mass index (BMI) and being overweight.”

Some people might confuse bone size with bone density, which refers to the concentration of minerals in your bones. Like large bones, dense bones may add only a few pounds to your frame.

Focus on exercise and portion control for weight loss

“If your BMI is in the overweight or obese category, you probably need to make changes to be healthier regardless of the width or density of your bones,” Banaszynski said. “Being overweight or obese increases your risk for diabetes and heart disease.

So the standard advice applies, big boned or not. Do more cardiovascular exercise, eat a well-balanced diet and pay attention to portion size to shed extra pounds.

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Yes, You Can Be ‘Big Boned’ (But That’s Not Why You’re Overweight)

The question: I weigh more because I’m big boned… right?!

The answer: It’s a classic excuse of sorts, to those of us worried about our weight. Maybe, just maybe, it’s not fat nudging the number on the scale upwards, but bone.

But circulating images of alleged body scans leads to the question: Is there any truth to the idea of being “big boned?”

“There is such a thing as being big boned, but it’s not a medical term,” spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Claudette Lajam, M. D., tells The Huffington Post. “People have different sized frames … they’re responsible for you being a bigger person overall, but in general they’re not responsible for you being overweight.”

While a larger frame may account for a couple of pounds, she says, it’s definitely not getting you off the hook for an extra 30. “Most people’s weight is carried in their soft tissue — muscle, fatty tissue, their organs,” says Lajam, “so blaming extra weight on your bones is not accurate.” And she should know: While performing knee and hip replacements on overweight patients, she sees those bones firsthand. “One of my mentors would say: ‘I have seen your bones, and they’re not big…”

Only about 15 percent of people do have a larger than average frame, and about the same have a smaller than average skeleton. The majority of us, therefore, are just average. There is, however, a pretty easy way to find out, which compares the circumference of your wrist to your height.

Use a tape measure and the following chart, from the National Institutes of Health, to determine if you’re small, medium or large-boned:

Lajam cautions that bone size shouldn’t be conflated with bone density, which is a measure of the concentration of minerals (including calcium) in the bone. Lowered bone density, which can show if a person has osteoporosis, wouldn’t change the size of a person’s bones, just the concentration of mineral in it, she says.

Have a question for Healthy Living? Get in touch here and we’ll do our best to ask the experts and get back to you.

“Ask Healthy Living” is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. Please consult a qualified health care professional for personalized medical advice.

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The Big Boned Theory



“I’m not really that overweight; I’m big boned!”

If I had a couple of bucks for every client that has said that to me over the years, I could have retired years ago!

There is such a thing as being big boned—but it’s not a medical term, and it’s never used correctly. What big boned means, and what people mean by big boned, is never the same thing.


Big boned? Big myth! Click To Tweet


The graphic above was created for a Channel 5 documentary (70 Stone and Almost Dead) about Keith Martin, a British man who weighed over 900 pounds. It’s a computer generated conceptual model of what Martin’s x-ray might have looked like to give viewers a better understanding of the skeletal structure of a 900-pound man.


People with larger bones are slightly larger for their heights, yes . . . but it’s the soft tissue atop and around those bones—muscle and fat—that make some people look more “big boned” than others. So, for example, an obese person can weigh more than 350 pounds and have big legs, but actually have very small bones.

The bones that make up the human skeleton comprise about 15% of the body’s weight. Thus, a non-obese 200-pound adult has a bone weight of about 30 pounds . . . and half or more of that bone weight is water!—both in the bones themselves as well as in the marrow they contain. Water weighs a lot, folks!

The dry, fat-free skeleton (such as at autopsy) comprises approximately 6-7% of an adult’s body mass.* (*See “Human Body Composition,” by Steven Heymsfield, Volume 918, Page 291, section titled “Weight of the Skeleton). Therefore, the bones of that same 200 pound adult person, at autopsy, weigh only about 12 pounds.

Here’s an excellent article written by Matt Marshall, a fitness professional, on this very subject: “Big Boned. Big Myth.” Using the results of DEXA scans (bone density scanning) for his own normal weight as well as the scans of others, he was able to clearly show how little the human skeleton weighs.

For example, he’s a 34 year old male, who at the time of his scan weighed 176 pounds, and his entire skeleton (look at the “BMC” number: the Bone Mineral Content) weighed under 8 pounds (7.92 to be exact) . . . and remember, that’s inclusive of the water in the bones. At death, his bones would weigh much less. You can also see in his article another scan result for a 40 year old man who weighed 260 pounds, carrying 101 pounds of fat on his frame (as compared to the author’s 14 pounds of fat). That fellow’s skeleton weighed only 9.27 pounds … just 1 pound heavier than the author’s.

You can do your own browser searches for DEXA scans and you will see time and again the simple facts:

  1. While the human adult skeleton is composed of 206 bones, they are very light, weighing less than 15 pounds . . . and, most often, much less than that; and,
  2. While large bones in some do exist, “heavy” bones do not.


So, if you’re overweight or obese and still using that “big boned theory,” DO let those facts get in your way.


I am passionate about helping my clients become (and stay!) slim and healthy. I write and release weekly blogs and podcasts to educate, motivate, inform and inspire on all issues related to weight loss, obesity, health, wellness, diet and lifestyle. To learn more about who we are and what we do, please read the Services and Programs pages, with particular emphasis on The Client, The Fees and The FAQs.

a myth or a real condition? » Bit Better Coaching

“Honey, you’re just big boned”

It’s one of the more common statements you’re likely to hear if you’re a somewhat tall, maybe slightly heavy-set male or female:

No, you’re absolutely not fat. You’re just big boned!

According to information from the US National Library of Medicine (by the National Institutes for Health),  the frame size of the human body does differ between people. As a result, there is such a thing as being “large”, “medium”, or “small” boned. If you’re curious, you can easily figure out your own frame size category. Just grab a measuring tape, and measure your own height, then your wrist circumference.

The frame size is dependent on your height, and the table at the other end of the above link (repeated below), will help you determine whether your essence is housed in a small, medium, or large body-frame.

 Body-frame size
Height: Women Small Medium Large
< 5′ 2″  Wrist: < 5.5″  Wrist: 5.5″ to 5.75″  Wrist: > 5.75″
5′ 2″ to 5′ 5″  Wrist: < 6″  Wrist: 6″ – 6.25″  Wrist: > 6.25″
> 5′ 5″  Wrist: < 6.25″  Wrist: 6.25″ – 6.5″  Wrist: > 6.5″
Height: Men
> 5′ 5″ Wrist: 5.5″ – 6.5″  Wrist: 6.5″ – 7.5″  Wrist: > 7.5

A bit o’ bad news

With one exception, the size of your bones do not appear to have much to do with what the scale shows. The exception?

Your femur (thigh bone).

The human femur – From Wikipedia

The scientific study “The Effect of Weight on the Femur: A Cross-Sectional Analysis” (by Gina M. Agostini, et all), published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences in March of 2011, found a correlation between obesity and the shape of the human femur.

The study summary in plain english:

If you’re a caucasian male, the weight and density of your thigh bone will, after you’re dead, with a near 80% degree of certainty, indicate whether you were obese or not while alive.

But that’s the only bone in the body they have found to have anything to do with what your BMI, and thus the weight on the scale, is.

So, unfortunately, there’s no relationship between being “big boned” – i.e. your wrist measurement relative to your height – and “being big”.

About you

Have you ever been told you’re “big boned”?

Has it affected you in any way?

Would you be surprised to learn that thinking of yourself as “big boned” could be why you find yourself to struggling with losing weight?

Are Overweight People Really Big-Boned?

A euphemism has come true. According to a new study by forensic scientists, overweight people really are “big-boned.”

The finding will help forensic investigators determine the weight of a long-deceased person a clue to his or her identity by analyzing the size of a skeleton’s bones . The width of the femur, in particular, corresponds to body mass. “This research allows us to determine whether an individual was overweight based solely on the characteristics of a skeleton’s femur, or thigh bone,” said Ann Ross, an anthropologist at North Carolina State who co-led the research, in a press release.

Big bones aren’t the reason people are overweight, though it’s the other way around. The femurs of overweight people grow larger partly because they must bear more weight, the researchers hypothesize, and partly as a result of the way overweight people move and walk, which differs from others on account of their greater mass.

Discounting those minor details, the study, which was published in the March issue of the Journal of Forensic Sciences, will hopefully provide pudgy middle schoolers with a scientifically-backed reply to the taunts of bullies.

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Can You Really Have Big Bones? This Chart Will Tell You If Your Body Frame Is Especially Large

We’ve all heard people refer to themselves or others as “big boned,” usually as an explanation for carrying a little extra weight. Like most cliches, it’s easy to assume this doesn’t exactly have a solid scientific basis, but it turns out you actually can have big bones. The catch is, the size of your skeleton isn’t actually related to your weight. According to a Huffington Post interview with Claudette Lajam, M.D., “big bones” doesn’t actually have a medical term, because it’s not abnormal. When you think about it, this is actually pretty common sense: differently sized people have differently sized skeletons. There goes science, being all logical again. If you’re really tall, it could add a few extra pounds, but beyond that, your weight is mostly made up of your soft tissue (organs, fat, etc. — all the fun squishy stuff). Around 15 percent of the population is large-boned, and as you can probably guess if you’ve taken a statistics class, another 15 percent of people are small-boned. That leaves 70 percent of people solidly in the middle, so chances are pretty high that your skeleton is normal. Even if it turns out you’re a weirdo like me, having a larger or smaller skeleton shouldn’t affect anything beyond your height and body shape. You can close that Web MD tab now.

However, there is an important exception: people with small, thin body frames are more likely to get osteoporosis, the disease that involves losing bone mass as you age. If you’re a woman, you’re already at a higher risk for the disease as well, so make sure you’re getting extra vitamin D and drinking a bunch of milk (or calcium-supplemented milk substitute of your choice). If you’re really worried you could exercise more like the Mayo Clinic suggests, but in that case you’re a much stronger person than me. As always, pun absolutely intended.If you’re interested/worried/straight up bored at work, the National Library of Medicine has a handy chart to help you figure out your skeleton size. Have fun!

Images: Oli Scarff/Getty Images; Giphy; A.D.A.M.

Ask a Scientist: Is There Such a Thing as Being ‘Big Boned’?

The Scientist: Claudette Lajam, M.D., assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at NYU Langone Hospital for Joint Diseases and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

The Answer: In a word, yes, there really is such a thing as being big boned—but it’s not a medical term, and it’s not always used correctly.

First, the facts. Within the range of normal, some people’s bones have a bigger circumference than others’ relative to their respective heights. These people are, indeed, bigger boned. There’s a quick test to determine if you have a small, medium or large frame. All you have to do is measure your wrist. For women between 5’ 2” and 5’ 5”, a circumference of 6.25” to 6.5” is considered medium. Anything below that is small; above that is large. For shorter women, the medium range is 5.5” to 5.57”, and for taller women, it’s 6.25” to 6.5”. (A quick cheat: If you wrap the thumb and middle finger of one hand around the opposite wrist, do they overlap, just touch or not touch at all?)

What big boned means and what people mean by big boned may not be the same thing, however. Think Eric Cartman on South Park saying, “I’m not fat, I’m big boned!” People with larger bones are slightly larger for their heights, yes, but it’s the soft tissue atop and around those bones—muscle and fat—that make some people look more “big boned” than others. Obese patients who need knee or hip replacement surgery can weigh more than 350 pounds and have objectively big legs, but actually have very small bones. Nor is it an issue of bone density, which is a measurement of how much calcium and other minerals are packed into your bones, and has nothing to do with how big they are. But bone density is an important concern for women, who are more prone to osteoporosis and osteopenia, whether they’re big boned or not.


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90,000 How to show your value in the labor market – the podcast “I was laid off”

If you are tired and angry with the whole world because you have not found a suitable job, you are emotionally drained. We figure out how not to be disappointed in yourself and stay in the resource in the seventh episode of the podcast “I was cut”

In the second season of the podcast, experts analyze the situations of people who have already faced layoffs. They help to cope with dismissal, rethink a career trajectory, find a job in a crisis and find a place in the profession.

Your browser does not support audio player .

Conversation timeline

1: 04-7: 24 – Alexander’s story: reduction and new ideas

7: 24-15: 06 – How you can be useful: how and where to look for a new job

15: 06-21: 26 – The perfect resume does not work: how to expand your opportunities “

21: 26-27: 52 – “Shout into silence”: how not to be disappointed during the search

27: 52-31: 33 – Issue summary: insights and solutions

Hero of the issue – Alexander Belous

Age: 32 years old.

City: Moscow.

Position: Head of Personnel Training and Development.

Last job: 1.5 years.

Education: higher.

When reduced: May 2020.

How they were made redundant: because of the crisis, the company where Alexander worked was closed.

How I coped: is going through a period of searching through benefits, conducting personal consultations and continuing to look for new jobs, but there are very few vacancies.Due to the crisis, mass events were banned, so the demand for training sank. He believes that the labor market has returned to the 2000s: rudeness, labor terrorism, the employer’s desire to save on everything.

Where now: conducts coaching sessions for leaders and entrepreneurs, career counseling and business trainings.

Request: wants to understand where to go next in order to find a suitable job. He is considering options for downgrading, but does not want to accept them yet.

Who helps: Asya Soskova, a professional coach and expert on professional self-determination, examines the situation. In her blog, Asya talks about how to become more conscious and attentive to yourself, your emotions, abilities and talents.

Conversation Highlights

If you have been working in a corporate setting for a long time, it will be difficult to go freelance. The main difficulty is to switch to a free schedule and the absence of corporate rules.

Another problem is a radical change in the sphere.For some, it is important to see the material result of their work in order to appreciate the personal contribution to the final product. Then it will be difficult to move, for example, from production to retail or finance.

Job search requires full inclusion, so emotional resources are quickly depleted and lead to negative attitudes, anger and irritation.

What to do

Sometimes even the perfect resume will not be successful in finding a new job. You can demonstrate your value with a non-standard proactive approach. To come up with one, do your research in the area you want to use and identify the most common challenges employers face. Offer them solutions based on your experience and skills. Try to arrange it in a case or in another way.

Step to the side. Avoid progressive career development: look for industries you haven’t worked in yet, or try to expand your competencies.

Take advantage of free time. Do what you wanted to try for a long time.For example, invest time in education and expand your competencies and expertise. This will help you become more open to new ideas and career opportunities.

A long job search can be frustrating. Remember that other people feel your tiredness, anger, or need. This can alienate a potential employer. Work on your condition and try to change your attitude towards the situation. Avoid emotional drain.

In order not to miss new episodes, subscribe to the podcast and listen to it on Apple Podcasts, CastBox, Yandex. Music ”, Google Podcasts, VK and any other application where you listen to podcasts.

A special performance will be staged in Bratsk within the framework of the project “You can be anyone”

Yulia MATVEEVA, director of the Pugovka theater: “Every single person or one who considers himself a black sheep comes to a team where he is loved and appreciated as such as he is – of course, he will bloom every day, believe in his capabilities ”.

Julia worked with a troupe of 21 people for 9 months.She immediately responded to the offer to cooperate, says the director. It was not a challenge. It was a necessity. And the immersion into the world of special people began.

A two-hour class every Friday of theater and dance therapy. They work actively because there is a response from all participants. And also progress from week to week.

Olga AMOSOVA, author of the project “You can be anything”: “The guys have opened up. Some spoke better. Someone revealed their talents, became less shy, timid.The guys are happy to do it. But we are just as happy to study together with them. ”.

Anastasia, participant of the project “You can be anything”: “I am shy, but I can dance” .

The project “You can be anything” has long stepped over spatial boundaries. More and more people believe in his success and support him. The uniqueness and sincerity of the participants won over. And also their openness.

Nikolay, participant of the project “You can be anything”: “We feel everything” .

The project will end when there is an inclusive space where special people can communicate and work. Now it is being renovated. The intermediate result of theatrical therapy will be a performance. Non-professional, but such selfless actors will take the stage.

Yulia MATVEEVA, director of the Pugovka Theater: “Because guys are like children. They, like angels, descended from heaven. Light conductors. And I’m already thinking about the material. I write myself and I think it will be a fairy tale for adults.When people come, their hearts will surely be warmed up ”.

Theater-goers who are similar and unlike us are planning to warm everyone with their warmth in the fall. They are on vacation now.

To get to know better those who live in their own world, the townspeople are invited on June 29. The TKTs “Bratsk-ART” will host the photo exhibition “You can be anything” [0+]. It will feature portraits of those who need to be heard and can be understood.

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A family of student brigades: wherever you are in Russia, you know that around

KIU students have become the best fighters of the student brigades! The competition “Student Labor Team of the Year 2020” is held annually and brings together participants from all over the republic. The competition is huge, but our students with their achievements were able to prove that they deserve victory. So, the title of “The best commissar of the staff” was won by Daria Islamgulova, and “The best master / methodologist of the student labor group / staff” was Alsu Akhmetshina. Both of our heroines are studying at the Faculty of Economics of KIU. In an interview, they talked about the competition, as well as about the huge opportunities that student teams provide: social activities, organizing events, receiving grants for their projects, the opportunity to travel around Russia, and, of course, that special atmosphere of friendship and unity that is only in student teams.

– Tell us about the competition. How did you prepare, what were the stages?

Daria: First, we submitted applications, then there was a face-to-face stage, self-presentation. By the way, at this stage we were greatly helped by the experience gained at the “Success of the Year” competition of KIU. Thanks to him, we approached the presentation creatively, which became a big plus in the eyes of the jury.

– Why is the title of the best in your movement given?

Alsou: For work in the detachments – we do not sit still.We show that our headquarters works at the level of a university, city, and republic. We participate in district, republican and all-Russian events.

Daria: And we are also their organizers. For example, recently a meeting of student groups of the Volga Federal District took place, in the organization of which we participated. There are a lot of events, and everyone will find where to express themselves.

– Who is the Commissioner and who is the Master / Methodist?

Daria: The commissar is a person who organizes events at the headquarters level, unites the guys and helps to feel the spirit of the labor detachment.This is a person who energizes, motivates.

Alsou: A Master Methodist is, first of all, a lot of work. If the commander leads the detachment, the commissar holds it together, then the master methodologist is responsible for a difficult stage – preparing people for the labor semester. I must make sure that they know how and by whom they will work. It is always difficult to get people to learn. However, this is at first. After explanations, people are excited about our business. After all, there are many directions, and everyone will find something for themselves.

Daria: We have a student team of guides, a pedagogical team (work as a counselor). since the beginning of this year, we have opened a service direction.

– How has working in student teams changed you?

Daria: I became more confident, a lot of like-minded people appeared around. Since we have traveled a lot to all-Russian events, we now have friends all over the country. I also improved my discipline, stress resistance.In the summer I worked as a counselor. Working with children takes a lot of dedication and patience, but it was really cool.

Alsou: Of course, you improve communication. To captivate people, when I meet a new person, I need to understand who I am working with, how to present him with a new direction. With another person, the campaign is already different. So my work here taught me diplomacy, the ability to find a common language with completely different people.

– How can you use your experience in the future?

Daria: We are taught to work on projects, and this will greatly help with further employment.The employer is looking for people who already know how and want to work, and this is exactly the place where you get valuable experience. You have already been able to show yourself.

Student labor brigades are a school of life. Here you step out of your comfort zone more often than at university. Every day you immerse yourself in new projects. Sometimes this is something for which you may not be ready, but you will always be supported. Example: once, while working with children, we had to put a bright number literally in an hour. This teaches maximum concentration and working with tough deadlines.In the future, I want to try myself in a profession in my specialty, but, of course, the acquired skills will be useful to me.

Alsou: And I can recall a case when a project for which I was given one month, suddenly very much reduced in terms of time – to one day. During this day, I had to think over the concept, find a designer, approve and present my project. So this is really a school of life.

– Speaking of student teams, the image of a separate, large world comes to mind.Even your uniform is unique – at the same time strict and bright, there is no similar one in any organization …

Alsou: Yes, and you will be recognized by this form, no matter where you are in Russia. There will be no questions – you are in this form, so you are yours. Immersed in this world, we are here forever. The family of student brigades remains with you after your student days. A social activist once is a social activist forever.

Daria: The thought that one day you will graduate from your favorite university, and your squadron life will end, is sad, so there is already a thought to enter the magistracy.

In general, this is a really huge cultural movement that has been going on for 61 years. We have a lot of traditions, there are veterans of the movement whom we respect. One of the traditions is to start in the morning for the rehearsal, when everyone is singing songs that every detachment officer knows. In all competitions, despite the competition, we are happy for each other.

Alsou: The units combine literally everything. Do you like volunteering? You will find it in the detachments. Do you like organizing events? You are welcome.Nobody limits you. We can come to the regional headquarters with our idea, knowing that they will listen to us. There is also a sports contest. And, of course, these are travels in Russia, in winter and summer. Right now it is cold in Kazan, and in warm Yalta another change of student brigades is taking place . ..

INTERVIEW “You need to do your job and be yourself” – Manizha

A singer and social activist – this is how they sometimes write about Manizha, which, of course, in no way can be accommodated in this definition.Firstly, Manizha is not only a performer, but also the author of her songs, as well as the director of music videos. Secondly, yes, she really, both in her work and in life, opposes domestic violence and xenophobia. She has developed a free mobile application, Silsila (Thread), through which women who have been victims of violence can seek help. Manizha supports charitable foundations working with sick children. And in December 2020, she was named Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Office.But it is difficult to call her a “social activist”. Her so-called “social position” is the human essence of Manizhi. Our colleagues at the Refugee Office say that she did not have to be “trained in human rights work” – her cooperation with the UN was a natural extension of what she had done before. True, some believed that public attention to social issues could hinder the young singer. Who was right? With this question Elena Vapnichnaya began a conversation with Manizha.

M: Mom, my producer, always supported me and always said that if you want to talk about it, talk about it. There were moments when, within the industry, our partners in a music project advised: “Be careful, be careful. Maybe you will first create a huge audience around you, make a lot of money, and then you will do social projects, not music. ” Because many people think that social activity and creative life are two different worlds that cannot exist together.But my team and I always confirm that it is possible and necessary. We do not force anyone to behave the same way. This should be the choice of every person.

EB: For me one of the most powerful, touching and piercing songs is “Mama”. I know that it Was not so easy for you, that sponsors did not really want to give money for it, and you had to spend your own funds. And you said that you wanted this video about violence against women, but not only – it is, of course, very multi-layered, and the song itself – but you wanted the video to be shot by a man and chose a director who is known for such tough clips – Lado Quatania.Why did you choose him?

M: Lado Quatania is a very talented person, we met in the circle of our friends, and I directly felt and understood that it was he who should speak out on this topic. You said that he is the author of such rather “bloodthirsty”, striking works, but this is a stereotype, because each person can express himself differently and make the direction of his work at any moment of his life different. But here I was interested to see how my subtle susceptibility, my inner fragility and strength are combined with such a very masculine view of the topic of domestic violence.

Why is this important? Because if we want equality, there must be dialogue. Very often, in the struggle for equality, we only hear monologues, and that is why it is so difficult to come to gender equality in our society.

The topic of domestic violence has different and very complex sides, and one of the most difficult sides is working with the actors of violence. There are very few centers that could provide help so that a person can admit his mistakes and not only admit, but also work on them – for very long, very long years.But I believe that this is possible, because in my life there are examples where I saw with my own eyes that a person can change, although it takes a lot of years.

EB: You had a project on Instagram when you talked to men and they even cried. You and I talked about how the problem of violence is also associated with a misunderstood masculinity in society: they say, a man must be strong, tough, he cannot afford to cry like a girl, and so on. That’s what you made the men cry – what were the talks about?

M: I talked to them about their life – I asked them to remember some important key situations in their life.These were long conversations – for several hours, recorded on a camera, and we took only those phases where the person just came in and started talking to you, and the final phase when he began to show his sensitivity in one way or another – and in both cases it was very nice. My task was to show that showing emotions is real emotions, not being ashamed of them is very beautiful. And men can and should cry, and they need to speak out loud about this stereotype and destroy it. They need to be more sensitive in order to be able to change.

EB: Still, I would like to ask you in more detail about why you came to the topic of violence against women, although there are a lot of topics in your work, and we will talk more about your role in the Refugee Office. Still, it seems to me that the topic of violence against women is so dominant. Why?

M: First, the topic of violence also exists on the global agenda, unfortunately. Secondly, why am I talking about this so often and so much? Because, of course, I would like there to be a law to protect women from domestic violence, so that there are more free crisis centers that would be provided with public funds, so that they can function and do their job well.And they do their job well. I know a lot of crisis centers where they provide assistance to a huge number of women – not only help to hide at the moment when they need help, but also on a long-term basis, so that they can rebuild their lives, get out of these relationships, and come to independence. There are different forms of violence – this is not only assault, there is also moral violence. Also, during the pandemic, many faced unemployment and found themselves in conditions where there was nowhere to go, and the abuser, in fact, had their hands untied, and they could say to the woman: “Now you are living at my expense and do what I tell you. … “.That is, this is the form – I don’t know, financial violence …

I would, of course, like there to be a law to protect women from domestic violence.

In general, the task of this educational activity is to inspire a woman to the fact that she has a choice: get an education, develop. This does not mean that you should be a man-hater or do everything yourself. No, but you must clearly understand all your possibilities and realize that you can do everything – at any moment of your life: you can love, you can be fragile, you can earn money, you can lose your job, but find a job again, you can face a problem, you can be happy, you can do anything.

EB: As I said, you could be the Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women and the United Nations Population Fund – I know that you also worked with them and, together with Natalia Vodianova, took part in their work … You cooperate with the Grant Life Foundation, that is, you could work with the UN Children’s Fund as a Goodwill Ambassador. But is your position as Goodwill Ambassador of the Refugee Office related to your personal history, to the fact that your family had to flee the war in Tajikistan?

M: Of course, this is related to personal history, and I am an example of a very correct assimilation in society.That is, I am an indicator of what you can come to, what you can do for the country in which you live, that you can call this country your home.

This topic is very important and very close to me, and I feel that it is not so popularized on the public agenda, and one of the main tasks is to raise awareness of people so that, at least, they smile more at each other, meeting on the street people of other nationalities. Even if they are not overly dressed and look scared, this does not mean that they do not deserve kindness and a good attitude.

EB: I am very moved by the phrase from your song – and you have a lot of such aphoristic phrases: “There is a lot of space in our boats, but we sail one by one”. And paradoxically, I just get a picture of refugees sailing in overcrowded boats, which often turn over and drown – one tragedy after another constantly occurs. And now if they were “seated on our boats”, right?

M: Yes, if we could really put them “on our boats, where we sail one by one.”.. Why are we sailing one by one? Because “it is difficult to be subtle, it is difficult to be honest, it is difficult when you are lied to.

This distrust, this fear that you have in life, makes you very closed, angry in something. I do not want to say that there are evil people and there are good people. There are different people, but inside each person there are those and other feelings. But depending on the circumstances in which you find yourself, these or those feelings begin to progress, as it were. And when you are afraid of losing what you have, and you see a person who came from another country and now needs help, you think: “Why did you come? You will now go and take my place in this boat. “Not! This “boat” has a huge number of seats, and it can still accommodate 50 or 100 people. Don’t be greedy – you will have your place!

I am a living person who loves what he does, who believes in what he does

EB: Another aphorism from your song: “I live according to the Koran within the walls of the church” …

M: “One God, and his facets are endless . ..” All my life I lived not only in a multicultural environment, I studied many religions. I am not religious, but I am very religious.I went to Kazan and attended a service in a church, and 15 minutes later I was in a mosque for a service. And in both cases it was a wonderful spiritual experience for me. Because the unity that is present in religion is wonderful. You know, warm tears flow from your eyes when you find yourself in this single stream with people who are now open. People are open in churches, people are open in mosques – and this is wonderful.

EB: You are going to Eurovision with the song “Russian Woman”. You said that you are not going to win, you are going there “not to fight” for it.Why are you going there?

M: I am going to share that I am a living person who loves what he does, who believes in what he does. I will have an incredible opportunity, when I stand on stage, in these seconds to say an important message that will be heard by a very large number of people, which means that it can influence them and force them to come to some kind of good changes.

How the voting will go and what will happen is of little interest to me.Many people say that Eurovision is a very political competition, some say that it is not political … I think that you shouldn’t think about it at all. You need to do your job and remain yourself, and this is the only thing for which you can answer to yourself, to God and to people.

90,000 “The status of your relationship with the disease”

The One Blood project, launched by the Voznesensky Center, is dedicated to cultural reflection on HIV / AIDS. Despite the fact that almost forty years have passed since the discovery of the infection, turning to this topic is now more than justified.From the moment of HIV infection to the moment of detection, it can take a long time until this happens – the infection is invisible, you can become a source of infection without knowing it. The same happens with covid: symptoms may appear in two weeks, or they may not appear at all, but everyone can potentially be a carrier – this is a story about all of us, as is the case with HIV. This is just one of many possible parallels. The intellectual and artistic reach of the project is significant: one site contains performances, selections, poems, private stories of many people; a joint issue with the Logos magazine has been published, which contains texts by philosophers, sociologists, historians and scientists about HIV / AIDS and other pandemics.It seems that the Russian language has never had such a focused attention to this topic. The breadth of the project is ensured by the breadth of view of those who are plotting it. This interview with the curators of the project Ilya Danishevsky and Linor Goralik – those who created this space and allowed it to be large and free, determined the possibility of expanding this space now and in the future. The full program of the project, which will run until December 22, is available on the SameBlood.ru website.

Maxim Mamlyga: The first of December, World AIDS Day, is celebrated every year, but this year you decided to do this project, despite the fact that you have known this problem for a long time and it affected your inner circle. Why exactly now, in 2020?

Linor Goralik: Everything is simple with me: Ilya said “come on”, I said “come on”.

Ilya Danishevsky: I don’t have a conceptual answer either. Sometimes we write texts, namely in a certain year, at some time they come out as a book. No particular trigger, not even the date was chosen after.

Maxim: Why do you think you received such a response, why did you manage to gather so many participants and assistants? Did you meet any resistance?

Ilya: No.I wrote to Linor, Linor said come on, and everyone else did the same.

Maxim: Do you have the thought “Wow, how strange that everyone suddenly said yes”?

Ilya: Indeed, there is some kind of circle, and this is both a plus and a minus. If I now propose some other idea – for example, a lesbian story from the sixties to the present day – I think everyone will say: “It’s really interesting!” Curious? Always like this.Yes, let’s see, let’s find out where we met, where we got to know each other – here’s the spectrum of what you can do a project about.

Maxim: If I asked you to formulate in one paragraph what this project is about, how would you answer such a question?

Linor: My part of the project is that, apparently, there is no person who is not concerned with this topic. And it concerns people because it is connected with the most painful issues of identity: with sexuality, with privacy, with questions of intimacy, with physicality – it hits all the sore spots that you have at once.And the whole project for me, as an observer and reader, is about the fact that this topic is cross-cutting in culture, but here Ilya will say better than me.

Ilya: I proceeded from the fact that I was interested in how HIV, on the one hand, determined the artistic strategy in different spheres, and on the other, how it shaped our perception of culture at the same time. The same Freddie Mercury, right? Everyone heard and perceived it as a part of this music, that is, there are some implicit things that cannot but settle in the listener.It was interesting for me to look at this very section: what HIV / AIDS provoked in the culture.

Maxim: When did you even know about the existence of HIV and AIDS? When did the information that it even exist penetrate your information space? You are, after all, representatives of two different generations. For example, at school we were taken to look at strange wax mannequins, among which was Freddie Mercury, and during this excursion we were first told about it.When did this first happen to you?

Ilya: Since I studied at a provincial school and we were only interested in drugs and e * la, my parents had to tell me everything very quickly. But my first memory is different. I don’t know how old I was, there were such encyclopedia books, and there were about types of bacteria, types of viruses; there was a big U-turn about cancer (but I didn’t remember about it), and about HIV and how it works.

Linor: When perestroika began, I was 12 years old, something reached us in the late eighties.Before I left the Soviet Union at the age of 14 (it was 1989), we were, of course, interested in e * la and drugs, rather even alcohol and e * la, but I cannot say that the topic of AIDS worried us a lot. , and even more so no one was involved in our education. What I personally did was relatively safe, and as for my friends and girlfriends, someone was lucky with their parents, who quickly explained everything to them about contraception, but not from the point of view of infection, rather, from the point of view of fear of pregnancy – it was this that worried everyone very much.And from the point of view of infection – we (and adults then), apparently, thought that this happens only with some bad children, not as good as we are. They were very afraid of pregnancy, there were, of course, terrible rumors about pregnant girls, but nothing else. And then, when I moved to Israel, there was a lot of talk about it, we received normal sex education, and I remember that it was sometimes traumatic. Imagine Soviet girls, eighty-nine years old, who often came from the provinces – an even larger province than Dnepropetrovsk (although Dnepropetrovsk was, of course, a province), who were brought to class a model of a member and were asked to put a condom on it with the whole class; for many it was terrible and was perceived by and large as sexual trauma and sexual abuse: I remember girls who started crying in class.These people, of course, wanted the best, but this was somehow wrong for our contingent. But there was a lot of talk about AIDS, and there were Russian-language newspapers, quite yellow (like the newspaper AIDS-Info, which was both yellow and educational, and very important). We saw and read them, and there this information came across, albeit in a specific form, as it was in the eighty-ninth and ninetieth years in almost all the press: between horror stories and pornography. This is a very complex mix – yes, both stigmatizing and intimidating, but some kind of knowledge, of course, giving.

Maxim: Was there a moment when it turned from an abstract story to a concrete one that touched you personally, your inner circle? Surely it happened later, but how did you feel during this transition from abstraction to concrete?

Linor: When I was 18-20, I already had friends with whom something called HIV scare happened – the first bell when it turns out that the partner of the partner is positive, and you did not use protection, and all this starts vibrating around you.At some point, much later, HIV phobia began in me, already when I had a certain variety of partners and I did HIV tests very often, because, despite the contraception (and I was extremely careful), I was very scary – I had a kind of obsession (I will clarify: my HIV phobia was not that I would become infected with HIV by grabbing the handrail on the bus – I was afraid that I would become infected from one of my partners).

Ilya: Probably, from the first year I already had friends who were ill, but we did not discuss it, did not even keep silent about it, but simply did not.And a direct collision – I had one night stand : it was winter, we were going home, and I felt a strange relationship between a person and his own body – this is always the first thing you notice in chemical communication – a distance, which I explained as some kind of psychological warehouse. Then for some reason I directly asked if this was the case, I already had a subconscious answer. It turned out, yes, but I didn’t feel anything at all, I didn’t have any phobia, no special attitude. At the same time, it seemed to me that this was exactly what was strange, that one should experience some kind of strong affect from this.

Maxim: At that moment, during this conversation, did you feel uncomfortable or out of place?

Ilya: Since it was one night stand , to be honest, I felt burdened. And there was a strange feeling that there is still some third substance between you – the relationship of a person with his own disease. But there was a person in therapy, well-versed in biology, and he understood everything about himself, but there was also his relationship with this thing, despite the fact that he understood everything and could calmly talk about it.This is a very interesting thing when you feel it as some other, third entity. We are all used to talking about a thousand and one mental illness, this phobia probably also exists in society, but we constantly discussed bipolar disorders, depression and antidepressants, and all this was an absolute norm – in the sense that people because of these problems canceled meetings and reshaped things. It was always normal and was discussed absolutely calmly: “I have a depressive recession – not today” – and that was all.And this is the only place where I felt that any person has a super-personal story with his own illness, about which he cannot tell. And even if he can, all the same, he seems to lack words.

Linor: When we were working on this story, I thought that each person has two HIV status: there is an HIV immunological status – that is, you are positive , negative or you do not know your status – and there is another, psychological-emotional “HIV-status” – the status of your relationship with the disease.No matter how much we talk with people, almost no one seems to be indifferent to this topic (with rare exceptions), everyone has their own attitude to this issue. This can only happen with oncological diseases, it seems to me – strong experiences are almost certainly associated with them. I firmly know that I have a very specific psychological “HIV status”.

Maxim: You named cancer and HIV as such special examples that stand out from a number of other diseases.Why exactly are they? What do they have in common? Why is it necessary to define your attitude towards them?

Linor: It seems to me, firstly, for historical reasons – until recently, both of these diseases were actually sentences. Not so long ago we learned how to cope with some manifestations of oncological diseases, not so long ago we began to effectively use HIV therapy. Secondly, we understand that both of these statuses – both positive oncological status and positive HIV status – change something in a person’s picture of the world.Society believes that a person with an oncological or HIV status changes as a person, so we often distinguish these two types of diseases and often believe that they differ from chickenpox or from a broken leg: we do not expect from the latter that they will profoundly change the person as such. … Personally, of course, I do not know anything about this: I am talking about the assumptions existing in society, it is important to emphasize this.

Ilya: An opposite example, to see where some cultural boundary goes, is mental illness.It cannot be said that they transform a person, because the sources of these diseases have always been in him. There is no before and after moment.

Linor: At the same time, by the way, there is a moment of recognition of the diagnosis – also a kind of initiation – and many believe that it changes a person (I am often asked in an interview: “How did you feel when you found out that you have bipolar disorder? “- and this question seems to me to speak). I don’t know if this is really so, it is difficult for me to judge (how difficult it is to judge both oncology and HIV): when I was first diagnosed with other psychiatric diagnoses, and then diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I cannot say that this is something especially changed in me.

Ilya: When I was diagnosed with depression, it seemed to me that I already knew all the answers, but I existed inside my psyche. That is, it was obvious for a very long time, but now it has been verified, no more.

Linore: That is why I am not comparing HIV and mental illness, but HIV and oncology: it seems to be (it is believed) that when you find out that you have cancer or HIV, it makes a strong impression on yourself.

Ilya: Actually, we are in such a dishonest position. When we came up with this project, we immediately stipulated that our HIV status is negative, but we are worried about this – this is a slightly simpler approach than if we initially worked with some kind of our own story. Everything we say is from the outside, from what we have learned in the process of work.

When we go to a psychiatrist to diagnose depression, before that we already had a very long story with ourselves, we sat at home, we felt and understood everything.But in the case of HIV, it comes to us from a doctor, from a third person, from the very beginning we never stay with this thing tete-a-tete.

Plus HIV is completely changing your communication strategy. You have a legal obligation to report the diagnosis in certain cases, you can no longer simply have your teeth removed, although it seems that these are the people who are not concerned. In the case of mental illness, they ask you if you have any allergies or illnesses, you answer: “I take A , B and C , are negative reactions possible with this?” – but nobody’s eyes change, everything happens absolutely regularly and does not cause any affect.

HIV is another matter. Two years ago, I had an acute toothache, and I went to have a tooth removed. They accept me on an unscheduled basis, we even agree that I will pay for everything afterwards, because they see how bad I am, and so casually clarify: “Well, you don’t have HIV and tuberculosis, right?” And you hear that it is not even meant that I will say “is.” Not because these people are so bad, they wanted to help me quickly and had to ask a series of questions, but it was not even implied that the answer could be different.The whole society is simply not prepared for the fact that I will answer: “Yes, actually there is.”

Maxim: There seem to be two stages. The first is when HIV appeared, but it was not possible to diagnose it in the early stages. It was immediately AIDS in its most terrible physical manifestations, and there was a verdict. The second stage is now underway – when therapy appeared, we no longer perceive it as a sentence, and a person with HIV infection can already live calmly and normally. Am I understanding these two steps correctly?

Ilya: There is also a transitional stage.Therapy, especially in Russia, and even better not in Moscow, is a question about the availability of medicines and the problems faced by the centers for obtaining these pills. Not all types of therapy are suitable for all people, not in all places you can rebuild the treatment regimen – there are many purely medical and socio-political problems that grow out of this. So it’s still not two stages – there was no therapy, but now it is.

Linor: Two, if we consider that therapy is always available to everyone, this also needs to be stipulated. But these are not two stages, but a spectrum.

Maxim: How would you describe this spectrum?

Ilya: This means that I am becoming a person with a wider range of needs than others. As in the story with the dentist: the infrastructure around may not be completely tailored to these needs, its regulations include this absolutely conditionally, and the whole burden of problems rests on the person, and not on society. It is he who must make the effort.It’s the same as when we talk about disability and understand that all social spaces are not prepared, not prepared by default.

Linor: I work with charity projects that deal with people with special needs, and I know that from the outside you often just don’t see how the infrastructure is not tailored to their non-standard needs, until they poke your nose in it. And it seems to me that the story is exactly the same with HIV / AIDS.

Ilya: I think infrastructure optics are not enough, this problem goes into some kind of social regulation. It’s not just that someone doesn’t want to, everything is much more complicated, you need to put in more effort and cost. And it is clear that a large number of people do not care and they ignore this problem.

Maxim: From the outside it seems to me that when you now reveal this spectrum of problems, it is still a slightly different spectrum than the ones written in big red letters “Mortal threat” and “Death awaits you.”

Ilya: Now on you in the same letters is written “Mortal humiliation”, and you must inform everyone about it. All schools and institutes have official medical commissions, and if someone has this status, we understand that everyone will know about it very soon.

Maxim: Medical secrets are not respected?

Ilya: I don’t know. Medical secrecy may be respected, but I’m talking about organized medical examinations now.And I don’t know about schools, by the way, but it seems to me that they are probably obliged to inform their parents, and in parallel they will inform a lot of people, and it’s still red letters on you. We can’t even imagine how often people have to report it out loud, we just don’t see it.

Maxim: When you mention the problems of an accessible environment with the same ramp, it turns out that people with disabilities and disabilities still do not have such a vivid stigma as a person with HIV.

Ilya: It seems to me that we cannot talk about which stigma is more vivid and which is less. They are structured in completely different ways and are intertwined at the same time. It is clear that the stigma of HIV + women is structured in a completely different way from HIV + gay or HIV + heterosexual men. It is clear that due to the gender problems that exist in Russia, the perception of different groups and the self-perception of oneself will also be completely different and the stigma will be completely different. For example, we are faced with the fact that it is very difficult to find heterosexual men who are willing to tell their story.This means that it is there that there is some completely different perception. It seems to me that we cannot compare which stigma is worse, harsher, this is not something that is incorrect, we just do not have optics for this. Plus, it’s pretty unproductive.

Maxim: This is not about who is worse off, but rather about some kind of ancestral history. Are the stereotypes and clichés that HIV carries now are associated with the first perception of this disease in society, with how it first began to be comprehended and was picked up by the media, or not? Or is this my illusion?

Ilya: I think this is not an illusion, it just probably requires not ours, but professional expertise.

Linore: Yes, it seems to me that this is a much more complex conversation and much more detailed.

Maxim: When the epidemic began, the first risk groups appeared. When homosexuals began to get infected in New York or San Francisco, it turns out that for a long time it was said that HIV is a disease of homosexuals, although now we know that it has already gone beyond the so-called risk groups. Now there are no so-called risk groups, this is a disease of the entire population, but nevertheless, when Ilya talks about the difficulty of talking about his disease in heterosexual men, perhaps it is due precisely to the fact that there were once those first risk groups.

Ilya: I think in the case of heterosexual men we should talk about the influence of patriarchy. Power is felt exclusively as silence about emotions, it is a taboo on emotions, frankness.

Linor: I think one of the reasons is that HIV is still perceived as a gay disease in the mass consciousness. When you are a heterosexual man and confess that you have HIV, someone might think you are secretly gay.Could this be, Ilya?

Ilya: I don’t know, I think this is a very difficult turn, I’m not sure.

Linor: We’re not talking about our circle now, but about a much wider circle of people. I was preparing and reading a lecture about social advertising about HIV and how stereotypes work in the marathon under the auspices of UNAIDS , and I happened to watch a relatively large number of advertisements and read a number of articles that talk about what stereotypes are still the most tenacious.There are two of them: the disease of gays and the disease of drug addicts. In my opinion, they have not yet disappeared among the broad masses.

Ilya: Probably, but if we step aside and try to make a project about mental illness, I’m sure that heterosexual men will also want to talk about it much less.

Linore: For other reasons. There is a lot that heterosexual men will refuse to talk about.

Ilya: It seems to me that there are much more politicized reasons.After all, the main thing in illness is that you are knocked out of the canon, you can no longer take your place. You can’t even be that white patriarchal heterosexual man anymore.

Linor: We are talking about the same thing, it seems to me, and just feeling this elephant from different sides. Ilya, you said one very good thing: yes, you can be a white heterosexual man or any other heterosexual man, but in the eyes of society it can be more difficult for you to look like a heterosexual macho if you have HIV or AIDS, because… and then there are a number of reasons. If this image of oneself is important to a person, it may be difficult for him, probably.

Ilya: Yes, and you can no longer be a glamorous socialite, you are knocked out of your canon, even if it suits you perfectly and you took some place there. And here you are forcibly pulled out of it.

Linor: At the lecture, I said that one of the problems with the social media about HIV / AIDS is that it sometimes stigmatizes the people it wants to help.One of the videos that I analyzed – quite frankly filmed – shows an endless number of male and female bodies wriggling in sexual ecstasy, a real orgy, and then the camera moves away, and it becomes clear that this is happening at the top of some hourglass and from time to time it falls down dead man. And you think: they want to tell you, apparently, that from time to time one of the people who enter into “disorderly” (I hate this stigmatizing word) relationships, die of AIDS.But what they really say to the wide audience is that, of course, this only happens to people who participate in some kind of crazy orgies.

Ilya: But, Linor, statistically it’s true. Probably, if we look at the statistics, the less orgies you have, the less chances are purely mathematical.

Maxim: As for white heterosexual men: I don’t know how interesting this example is in the field of PR and marketing, but I really liked as an experience of cultural neutralization what HIV service organizations are doing.They invented a unique term that appears on brochures – the category of MSM. These are not homosexuals, not bisexuals, but men who have sex with men. It turns out, do not indicate your status, the main thing is to take therapy. If you have such a practice, then this is for you.

Linore: I think this is definitely smart, because it is much more difficult for a person to accept an identity than to formulate an action.

Ilya: There are homosexual practices, not orientation.There are men who have sex with men but are neither gay nor bisexual; they just took them into account.

Linore: Exactly: it is much more difficult to accept identity, that is, to identify as gay , straight , bisexual , asexual , pansexual and so on, than to define your practices: yes, I have this practice, I’m a man who has sex with men (or even I’m a woman who has multiple partners , by the way).

Ilya: Besides, you can have practices that are not related to your identity. This is something that is simply part of your experience.

Linore: Yes, when I say “accept identity”, I do not mean “confess” to it, I mean “accept”, to internalize .

Maxim: I would like to understand some kind of timeline: how did culture comprehend this story, how did it reflect on it? Is it possible to somehow designate it from the very beginning?

Ilya: There is no global timeline, I think, since there is American history and a huge number of texts and reflections that have not been translated into Russian.All these materials do not seem to exist in the Russian context. Therefore, already here the timeline will be stratified.

Maxim: Maybe then start with the American one?

Ilya: Also in very different ways. Their path of normalization and destruction of stigma was associated with medical upgrades of therapy. It was primarily a social problem that was consistently addressed. Evolution can be traced in the conventionally mainstream American novel.Now almost every American novel has a fragment about HIV in one way or another. If we read in sequence, we will see how the attitude becomes simpler and simpler, the noise is muffled. For example, in Cunningham’s Watch, there is still some emphasis on this, and it is still very harsh. When we read today’s novel, we see an almost neutral attitude.

Maxim: Why is this tone muted now? Because American society has changed its attitude to this?

Ilya: It’s just that you are writing a novel, you have a friend of the protagonist who is taking therapy, and this can no longer affect the plot, because he just drinks pills once a day.This difference from our existence is so minimal that it can no longer be a plot driver. And some American author will simply say in passing that the hero X is in therapy. Even in Russia, we have already come to the conclusion that you just need to take pills once a day, there are no more changes in the schedule, unlike, by the way, mental problems that strongly affect our communication skills, our regime, our ability work and schedule our existence.

Maxim: It seemed to me from recollections that people had a feeling that there was a sexual revolution that brought liberation and destigmatized a lot of things related to sex and sexual practices, and then HIV and AIDS came, which all this sexual freedom for a while, they interrupt and again instill a new fear in people. Did you consider something like that?

Ilya: If I wrap myself in polyethylene and stay at home for the rest of my life, then, probably, the chance of contracting HIV or covid will be statistically less for me. But something third will definitely start for me, and I will die in this package. A drug addict with an orgy is indeed a place of greater danger than a supermarket, although an anonymous person can burst there with a pistol and shoot you. There is no safe place at all, there are simply more and less safe places.

Linore: At any given time. I remember walking into the (I think) London Sex Museum and being in a room dedicated to the Sexual Revolution and Seventies Clubbing.I looked at these beautiful, happy people in stunning revealing suits and thought, “They overcame the rigidity of their parents, they made a sexual revolution, they really changed the world. They changed their childhood attitudes and they won. ” And it was a moment of well-deserved happiness, a well-deserved holiday for people who were able to break the shackles from themselves and from the world. I stood in front of them and realized that they are mostly dead and mostly dead from HIV, and it broke my heart. It was very scary and very unfair – but it was the moment when I realized what HIV is and how ruthless, horrible and – again – unfair it was.The word “unfair” has haunted me ever since. A selected victory – but it didn’t turn out to be Pyrrhic, because all the changes they brought to the world were preserved.

Maxim: For whom did you make this project?

Linore: I didn’t have a clear brief – “who is our target audience?”, But I had some imagination about what I would like from the project in terms of impact on the people for whom it is intended.I would like this site to be the trigger for the conversation. I said earlier that I have a feeling that almost everyone has something to do with HIV / AIDS, and I wanted such people to have the opportunity to talk about it with someone – not just us. So that this becomes an occasion for some kind of conversation, how collecting stories became an occasion to speak out, to speak out on this topic; so that this project becomes an occasion to comprehend something or say something – at least close.

Maxim: Linor, when you asked people and they told you their stories, you, as always, skillfully grouped and analyzed them.What did this story cloud tell you, and was there something that you didn’t expect to hear, see, or read?

Linor: There are small things – for example, I had no idea for how many people the death of Mercury turned out to be the entrance to the topic. And there are big things – for example, how many people have everyday HIV phobia. One girl – and I am terribly grateful to her – confesses anonymously, for example, that she has an HIV-positive friend, whom she naturally accepts as a guest, but every time after her, as she puts it, “scrubbing the toilet” and can’t help it.And I am terribly grateful to her for this story, told publicly. There are people who are still scared and find it difficult to deal with the fears instilled in us. For example, someone says that they still cannot, without looking, put their hand on the handrail of the escalator, because they are afraid that needles with AIDS are stuck in it, because once there was a horror story: they say, people with AIDS are like that take revenge on those who are not infected. A person understands that this is a horror story, but each time he examines the handrail – such a mixture of instilled fears is alive in us.It was a revelation to me.

Maxim: Ilya, you said that you are interested in what artistic strategies of reflection have been formed; can you describe these strategies somehow?

Ilya: Probably not, because we have not finished this work yet. This site will still be developing, everything unfolds live. For example, Alina Petrova, who gave us a lecture about influencing music, has collected a huge list that is somehow intertwined with the topic of HIV / AIDS.There are completely unexpected things. If you listen in one gulp, you really hear some parallels and understand that all this existed in the same field and they all listened to each other, but I am not yet ready to formulate it in words. I read a lot of poetry, identity politics is really being born there, which is now, the junction of documentary poetry and poetry of the return of votes, and then all this echoes, for example, in Oksana Vasyakina. This trend of documentary is about the same as in the stories that Linor collected, and this also influenced poetry in exactly the same way.And, perhaps, the fact that people have a desire to tell is an important trend.

Maxim: So it seems to me too. At the same time, when I watch films or read books that are in one way or another related to HIV, I think, on the one hand, how they reflect the experience of people who have faced it on their own skin, and on the other hand, how much people, those in need of their own returned history, a returned language, can use as a tool the language that modern poets and directors form.What do you think?

Linor: I personally really believe in the language of poetry, which makes it possible to speak, but in this sense I may, of course, have a distortion.

Ilya: I know how many of my friends use it for this, and this is a strategy that has always been totally alien to me personally.

Linore: For me, as a poet, in my own poems, frank documentary is basically impossible, but as a prose writer I have a rather complicated relationship with documentary.But I can’t do a completely direct documentary.

Ilya: It’s about the same for me, these are just inorganic tricks for me. It is clear that some kind of metaphorical documentaryism exists in general for everyone, and some kind of frankness also exists for everyone.

Linor: I understood Maxim’s question the other way around: can the language that our website provides be used as a language for everyday conversation about HIV / AIDS. I understand correctly?

Maxim: And that too.

Linor: That’s what I said, that I really believe that the language of culture can influence the language of everyday life.

Ilya: Of course. It is not even the language of culture, but to some extent the language of marketing. The more projects are done about, the sooner it will become the base language. We see what a tremendous amount of work Russia has done on the issue of destigmatization of cancer. Cancer in Russia now and seven years ago are two different intonations.And also how the cultural conversation about adoption is going. Someone may say that they cannot afford adoption, but not being able to afford and condemn are different issues. But we see how these topics have become completely normal.

Maxim: If we try to summarize, what are the main issues that culture pays attention to in the context of HIV / AIDS in the art projects that you have seen?

Ilya: I think exactly where we started.The main reflection is life with oneself in its changed body. In the case of poetry, this is the poetry of acceptance – of oneself and death, of the status of one’s loved ones, of one’s status. That is, the documentary here serves as a tool for adoption.

Maxim: Linor, when you read these stories, what worries people now? Ilya said what can be seen from cultural reflection, and what can be seen from stories? Does this match what Ilya says?

Linore: That there is still much less than 30 years ago, but there is still a very significant variation in the perception of HIV / AIDS.There are people who think that there should be no such spread at all, but there are people who literally say: “Wait, but we have emotions, where should we put them?” They are told, “You should have dealt with them by now.” And they: “But we have them, what should we do with them?” And there is no answer to this question, because today being the right person means fully accepting the fact that some people have HIV / AIDS, not stigmatizing, not being afraid, protecting themselves, and behaving well from a social point of view.But this does not in any way answer the question of what to do with the very “HIV-status-2”, with the emotions and fears that a person experiences. And these emotions are completely legitimate, just like any emotion that we have is legitimate. And not a single person answers the question of how to simultaneously be good and cope with their own experiences without feeling guilty for them. And the feeling of guilt is generally a bad thing.

Maxim: If we are talking about what kind of artistic reflection is now taking place in Russia and in the world, which of these works – poetic, cinematic – touched you the most?

Linore: For me, of course, at one time the film “Angels in America” ​​was of great importance, which completely shocked me, and I still consider it brilliant and recommend it to everyone I can, including my students.

Ilya: Probably Cunningham – “Flesh and Blood”. This is everyone’s story, about accidental infection and everything that follows. And this is shown against the background of all the other existing thousands of events – from economic crises to everything else. Some very important optics: do not forget about it, but at the same time see how everything exists at the same time.

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90,000 How should you ask for forgiveness? What if there is no strength to forgive? The priest and the psychologist answer

Priest: “God will forgive” – ​​these are just words that are customary to say.They are wonderful, but we cannot think that one formulation will make forgiveness and another will not. It is not the words that you utter that are important, but a sincere willingness to accept a person and overcome an offense.

If you understand that you cannot forgive, it is more honest and correct to tell the person: “I am not yet ready to accept you as you are, I have no strength for this. If I have the strength, I will try to change my attitude towards you.” And if you strive for peace within yourself, then you really need to look for strength in yourself to forgive.

To say “God will forgive” in such a situation is a somewhat hypocritical decision. The meaning of this wording is not that we want God to forgive man in our place. And the fact that we ask God to forgive this person. That is, it could sound like this: “I wish God to forgive you.” And if I’m not ready to do it myself, I’m hardly ready to ask God for it.

Psychologist: Psychologists have no understanding of “right” and “wrong”. Answer sincerely the way you feel.

If you are asked for forgiveness, but not the way you want, ask yourself: “What do I need? Just an apology, air vibrations, or something else?” It is quite possible that parent-child stories will come out again. Maybe you really want a parent to come and say: “I am bad, I am to blame, everything will be your way.” And that’s the only way you can hear the apology. And if he doesn’t say it, then what? Okay, if this is not a close person, someone at work, for example, then the relationship will simply go into a phase of hidden confrontation.We will smile at each other, but I know that you don’t love me, and I don’t love you either. But if this is someone important – what, our intimacy will end there? Are we going to get divorced? Ask yourself this. Not to deliver an ultimatum and push through. And to understand what is happening in your relationship.

If you cannot sincerely accept the apology, you can say “God will forgive”. It seems to me that this is a defensive phrase. It seems to mean: “I can’t say anything now, but there is someone who can solve this issue for us.”

Being an adult means being responsible!

Take care of each other – only then a serious relationship with your loved one will really bring happiness. Anyone starting adulthood should be aware of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

If you consider yourself old enough, then this information is for you!

One of the important moments in the life of every person is the beginning of sexual activity. When engaging in sexual relations, few people think about the possible negative consequences.I would like to draw your attention to the fact that sexual relations can be painful and frustrating if sexually transmitted infections (STIs) interfere with them. Many do not even know about their existence and about the need to protect themselves and their partner, and for this ignorance they often pay with their health.

Currently, the most common STIs are syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, trachomoniasis, genital herpes, anogenital warts.

In order to protect yourself and your partner from STIs, here are a few points to note:

There is a risk of contracting an STI even with a single sexual contact!

STIs are not always accompanied by tangible symptoms, therefore, if accidental and / or unprotected sexual intercourse has occurred.do not postpone going to the doctor!

If you suspect an STI, do not self-medicate, but see a doctor as soon as possible!

When an STI is found, treatment is necessary not only for you, but also for your partner!

Alcohol or drugs reduce self-control, so don’t use them!

The best STI prevention is the only favorite sex partner!

Cherish yourself and make informed decisions! In the Center “Trust” you can undergo examination and treatment of all sexually transmitted infections free of charge and anonymously, as well as receive psychological assistance and professional advice on contraception.

You can find out more detailed information about STIs, as well as about the “Trust” centers in your city on the website www.IPPP.ru

Being an adult means being responsible. No one takes care of your health better than yourself!

Here are the answers to the most pressing questions that concern many:

“What are sexually transmitted infections?”

Svetlana, 15 years old

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are diseases caused by bacteria, viruses and protozoa, transmitted through all types of sexual intercourse and leading to serious complications in the absence of timely treatment.The most common infections are syphilis, gonorrhea, genital herpes, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and anogenital warts.

“Is it true that sexually transmitted diseases can be contracted through any sexual intercourse?”

Anna, 15 years old

Young people often believe that it is impossible to get an STI with a single unprotected sexual intercourse, as well as with oral and anal sex. This dangerous misconception often leads to untimely visits to the doctor, complications and long-term treatment.

Additional risk factors play an important role in infection – refusal to use a condom, frequent change of sexual partners, reduced immunity, alcohol and drug use, chronic infections.

“Since infections are called ‘sexually transmitted’, does this mean that close contact, such as petting, is not transmitted?”

Timur, 18 years old

Some STIs, in particular human papillomavirus infection, can be transmitted through close contact and petting.In addition, there are parasitic diseases (scabies, pubic lice) that are not STIs, but are also transmitted through close contact and through household items. In domestic conditions, STIs, as a rule, are not transmitted, since the pathogens quickly die in the external environment.

“Tell me, what sexual diseases are most common and what manifestations are typical for them? I heard that many of them, such as syphilis, are incurable. Is that so?”

Artem, 16 years old

The most common STIs are gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, genital herpes, and anogenital warts.

Gonorrhea is the most common STI. Today the disease has become very young. The causative agents of gonorrhea – gonococci – during sexual intercourse are introduced into the cells of the mucous membrane of the genitals and urethra and begin to multiply actively. The manifestations of the disease are specific discharge from the genital tract, pain and discomfort when urinating, pain in the lower abdomen. In girls, gonorrhea is often asymptomatic.

After 2 months from the onset of symptoms, if you do not take action, the disease becomes chronic.Chronic gonorrhea turns into big troubles for young men – narrowing of the urethra, chronic prostatitis, male failure, complications from other organs. In girls, the chronic course of the disease leads to inflammatory diseases of the pelvic organs. One of the most dangerous complications of gonorrhea is infertility.

Gonorrhea is a completely curable disease with timely diagnosis and treatment.

Syphilis – STI caused by the pathogen – Treponema pallidum (treponema pallidum) and characterized by the frequency of the course.The first manifestations of the disease occur in 3-4 weeks in the place where treponema entered the body. A round ulcer (sometimes several) with a smooth, flat bottom is formed, which does not bother the patient in any way. After 3-4 weeks the ulcer goes away – the disease “hides” inside. After about a month (and more often at the moment when the ulcer has almost disappeared), a period of secondary syphilis begins, which is characterized by the appearance of a profuse rash on the body. Many patients mistake these rashes for dermatitis or a manifestation of allergies.Meanwhile, the venereologist will say with confidence that the secondary period of the disease has begun.

In the absence of treatment, 3-4 years after infection, the tertiary period of syphilis begins, characterized by damage to the skin, mucous membranes, and the skeletal system, which is destructive. Often, internal organs and the nervous system are involved in the process.

Contrary to popular belief, with timely access to a doctor, syphilis is a curable disease.

Chlamydia is the most insidious of the diseases.The course of chlamydia is asymptomatic more often than with all other STIs. A person can only be bothered by a meager discharge from the genital tract, which, as a rule, few people pay attention to. In such a situation, chlamydia more often than all of the above STIs becomes chronic and causes complications, the most dangerous of which is infertility.

Trichomoniasis is also one of the most common STIs. In the acute course of the disease, discharge from the genital tract, itching and burning in the genital area (in girls) and the urethra (in boys), pain during urination are characteristic.In a chronic course, the severity of symptoms weakens over time and a person may naively believe that he has been cured, and at the same time be a source of infection. Increasingly, the infection is asymptomatic in both boys and girls. As with all STIs, when diagnosed, both partners should receive treatment.

Genital herpes is an STI caused by the herpes simplex virus. Herpes is characterized by rashes in the form of vesicles, erosions and ulcers. As a rule, rashes are sharply painful and cause great discomfort.Rashes can be accompanied by itching, burning, discomfort in the genital area, pain when urinating. General symptoms are also possible, such as fever, weakness, and malaise.

The onset of symptoms is triggered by hypothermia, overheating, nervous and mental stress and many other factors. Unfortunately, there are currently no treatments that can completely eradicate the virus. But the doctor, by prescribing treatment, helps to cope with unpleasant symptoms, increase the period of absence of rashes and protect the partner from infection.

Anogenital warts is a viral STI caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Currently, more than 100 types of this virus are known, some of which contribute to the development of dangerous diseases such as cervical cancer.

The manifestation of infection is the appearance of warts on the genitals and in the anus. Often, early onset of sexual activity can lead to infection. in young people, immunity is not yet strong enough to resist infection.And the more sexual partners there are, the higher the risk of infection. Finding wart-like formations on your genitals is an indication for immediate medical attention and, if the diagnosis is confirmed, the removal of these formations. Often, human papillomavirus infection is latent, without the formation of warts. However, a person infected with the human papillomavirus is dangerous to their healthy partner. This again indicates that the absence of any symptoms does not mean the absence of the disease.

“What should alert you and force you to see a doctor?”

Denis, 18 years old

Each of the STIs has characteristic symptoms and requires immediate medical attention.

Here are some warning signs:

  • discharge from the urethra and genital tract, sometimes with an unpleasant odor;
  • difficulty, increased frequency and soreness during urination;
  • itching or burning in the genital area and anus;
  • genital and anal ulcers
  • genital warts
  • organs of the anus;
  • pain in the lower abdomen or rectum;
  • discharge from the rectum.

“If my partner is not worried about anything, is it really necessary to use a condom? I have heard that the holes in a condom are larger than HIV, herpes, hepatitis and other infections. So why is there so much writing about safer sex?”

Ulyana, 16 years old

Sexually transmitted infections proceed in different ways. Some diseases may not co-exist with any signs, but at the same time a sick person is dangerous to his partner, as it can be a source of infection.

Scientifically proven facts show that the use of latex condoms reliably protects against HIV and other STIs. The desire to use a condom does not mean mistrust of your partner. On the contrary, it suggests that you care about each other and that you have a sense of responsibility. However, even using a condom, one cannot be completely insured against infection. It should be remembered: a reliable sexual partner is the only and constant.

“Why go to the doctor when you can find all the information about diseases and treatments on the Internet?”

Sergey, 15 years old

Relying on yourself and self-medicating, relying on information on the Internet, advice from friends or other sources, is unreasonable and more beautifully risky.Many features of diseases cannot be read either in the encyclopedia or on the Internet. Only a qualified specialist knows about them. Quite often, STIs occur in the form of mixed infections, when not one, but several pathogens enter the body. Symptoms of the disease in such infections can be extremely varied and differ from the “classic” ones described in textbooks or reference books.

STIs are completely curable if you see your doctor early. After the diagnosis is established, it is necessary to follow all medical recommendations and be sure to undergo a full course of treatment, since if you do not follow the doctor’s prescriptions or stop the treatment on your own, the symptoms may recur, and the disease may become chronic and proceed with complications.During the period of treatment, it is necessary to exclude sexual intercourse until complete recovery. The course of treatment is also necessary for the sexual partner. And one more thing – you should definitely undergo a follow-up examination after treatment.

Why should I be examined if nothing bothers me?”

Alexander, 17 years old

All STIs can occur without pronounced clinical signs. In addition, symptoms of the disease can disappear over time.This does not mean at all that you have recovered. The disease becomes chronic and causes complications, which are much more difficult to treat.

From all that has been said, it is clear that the absence of symptoms does not indicate complete health with regard to STIs. Therefore, watch your health – avoid casual and unprotected relationships, do not have sexual intercourse under the influence of alcohol or drugs – this reduces self-control.

Remember, the best STI prevention is the only, beloved and constant sexual partner.

If you think you may have contracted an STI or want to be confident in your health:

come to the “Doverie” center in your city, where you will undergo an anonymous and free examination for the detection and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.

Do not wait for the symptoms of the disease to appear, contact the Trust Center at the slightest suspicion that you might have been infected.

(!) Answer the doctor’s questions honestly.Only in this way will a specialist be able to make the correct diagnosis and prescribe the correct and timely treatment.

(!) We will help you. But you also have to help us – strictly following all the doctor’s prescriptions. Only then our joint efforts will give the best result – your complete recovery.

(!) At the Trust Center you can also get free advice on contraception and receive psychological help.

If you have any questions, the doctors and psychologists of the Doverie centers will help you!

You can find detailed information about diseases, “Trust” centers in your city, as well as ask your questions on the website: www.IPPP.ru