Interested in how stigmatized HIV still is in his homeland, a man in Finnland stood in a public square next to a sign reading, “I’m HIV-positive, touch me.”
Filmed by Yle Kioski in collaboration with the The Finnish Broadcasting Company for Helsinki Pride Week, the resutlting video isn’t in English, but this is a case where actions speak louder than words.
Finland native Janne stood next to his sign with his eyes closed and arms out next to the signs, and waited.
Watch what happens next:
At first, people read the sign, shook their heads and moved on without touching him.
But, as time passed a few people began shaking his hand or patting him on the shoulder.
Eventually something remarkable happens. Strangers, including kids, start coming up and giving Janne big hugs. The outpouring of empathy and caring moves Janne to tears.