Soon after Brighton’s World AIDS day event in 2019, I began to format an idea in my head for World AIDS day 2020. Seeing how well the visual elements of the project had drawn people in I knew this had to be at the forefront of the next project and I wanted it to be a bold statement about what it meant to live with HIV today. I thought back to the time after I was diagnosed HIV and made the decision that I was going to be the boss to HIV and it would not dominate my thoughts. Of course there has been periods in my life when HIV has consumed my thoughts but it has never been the main part of who I am. From the start my idea was to create a portrait gallery consisting of three photos, one head shot of the person living with HIV along with two other photos that showed another side of that person away from HIV. From here I put together a team of people who had experience in the visual media and together we met at Jubilee Library to thrash out ideas: David, Jason, Malcolm, Frances and Ian. From the start the group talked about how this project will break down the stigma associated with HIV and how having positive images will go along way in doing this.
From here the very talented members of the group saw how this project could have a greater reach if a webpage was created were the volume of photos could be vastly increased. From here it was agreed that for the library project we would invite a cross section of people living with HIV to have the main photo taken by our photographer, Malcolm in Black and white, portraits always look better in black and white! along with the two ‘more to me’ photos in colour.
Unfortunately the Corona Virus has put a delay on the physical project being shown at Jubilee until later in 2021, but the online project (thank you David) has come on leaps and bounds as we use social media to get a greater reach. To see the project and how you may want to get involved if you too are living with HIV then please visit our website: