I met Andreea in Warsaw at the EACS conference in 2023, where she won the second prize at the positive exposition with her photograph called “Life goes on” – a strong visual metaphor embodied in the image of a hand holding pills and wilted flowers.
Elena-Andreea Negoi was born in Bucharest, Romania, in 1989. At the age of 8, her parents discovered she was one of the many thousands of children who had contracted HIV at that time, a legacy of the communist era. Andreea’s parents have been told she will be lucky enough to reach her 18th birthday.

She constantly seeks to understand the phenomenon of discrimination and stigmatisation from various angles, through different lenses—social, cultural, medical—and in diverse settings, going beyond just surface problems.
Now, at 34 years old, she studied foreign languages, graduated from the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work at the University of Bucharest, specialising in Social Work, with a Bachelor’s thesis about HIV in Uganda, and finishing a master’s degree in political science, preparing her thesis on HIV with a focus on social equality and communication for social change.

Over the years, Andreea worked and lived in 8 countries, including Uganda and Malaysia. Her professional journey is closely intertwined with the NGO sector, commencing in 2010 during her studies in Bucharest. Initially engaging through volunteerism, she later transitioned to roles as an employee within various national and international associations. She implemented educational and social programs to mitigate social challenges and disparities through skill development, professional guidance, social responsibility, and social inclusion.
In December 2023, she moved to Brussels to start an internship at the European AIDS Treatment Group. In parallel, Andreea is openly raising awareness of living with HIV by sharing her story in different contexts, such as living libraries (online and offline), podcasts, workshops for students, social experiments, and others.
When I asked Andreea to be part of my project, she told me she did not want to be portrayed based only on her HIV status. Her philosophy and the message she keeps trying to transmit are about the good things and how her status transformed her life. Moreover, she told me she do not want to highlight the drama and all the sufferings she have had to overcome. Andreea said, „It’s about who I am now, what I am as a person, what I do in my life, my values, etc. That’s what I want people to see. I am not an optimistic person (although a lot of people see that), I would say I am a pragmatic person, who enjoys the journey of life, with the good and not too good part of it. I accept that I can have days when I can get tired, depressed, or without energy. I accept that life has its ups and downs, but always remember who I am and what I want to be.”