World AIDS Day shows Atlantans ‘Living With’ HIV

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With a provocative interactive art exhibit, moving performances and plenty of hors d’oeuvres, Georgia Equality commemorated World AIDS Day on Thursday with an event that also raised funds to support the group’s HIV policy work.

The event at Gallery 874, “Living With,” actually closed a series of events around World AIDS Day. On Wednesday, Georgia Equality hosted its third annual luncheon for elected officials and community leaders about the HIV epidemic. That included a briefing from the Youth HIV Policy Advisors Program.

Also Wednesday, Georgia Equality partnered with SisterLove and the Counter Narrative Project for a public forum to discuss the state’s HIV criminalization law. The law allows people with HIV to be charged with a felony if they don’t disclose their status to sex partners.

At Thursday’s closing reception, members of the youth policy panel performed a moving rendition of “Seasons of Love.” (Watch below) The Atlanta Freedom Bands also performed and panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt were on display.

“Living With,” a two-day art exhibit, explored the stories of HIV-positive youth across Georgia through multi-media installations from local artists. Creators hoped the exhibit would counter the fear, stigma and discrimination that sometimes surrounds HIV and deters people from seeking HIV tests and treatment.

“Artists have a long tradition of speaking loudly and bravely about HIV when no one else would,” Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, said ahead of the exhibition. “This exhibit reminds us that many people are living and thriving with HIV and that stigma and discrimination can be deadlier than the virus itself.”

 

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