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MORE TO ME THAN HIV - Exhibition Booklet

The primary aim of this exhibition is Fighting HIV stigma with positive imagery, and each one of these portrait subjects is “living with HIV”, and are proud to emphasise the “living” part of that description. HIV is now an entirely preventable disease, and treatment for it is so successful, that HIV can play a very insignificant part of peoples lives, compared to other chronic conditions such as diabetes.

The primary aim of this exhibition is Fighting HIV stigma with positive imagery, and each one of these portrait subjects is “living with HIV”, and are proud to emphasise the “living” part of that description.

HIV is now an entirely preventable disease, and treatment for it is so successful, that HIV can play a very insignificant part of peoples lives, compared to other chronic conditions such as diabetes.

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<strong>MORE</strong><br />

<strong>TO</strong> <strong>ME</strong><br />

<strong>THAN</strong><br />

<strong>HIV</strong><br />

Fighting <strong>HIV</strong><br />

stigma with<br />

positive imagery<br />

Photography by Angus Stewart


Introduction to the project<br />

If you hadn’t seen the cover of this catalogue, what would<br />

you think this exhibition is all about, and what do all these 25<br />

people have in common?<br />

Each one of these portrait subjects is “living with <strong>HIV</strong>”, and<br />

they are proud to emphasise the “living” part of that<br />

description.<br />

<strong>HIV</strong> is now an entirely preventable disease, and treatment<br />

for it is so successful, that <strong>HIV</strong> can play a very insignificant<br />

part of peoples lives, compared to other chronic conditions<br />

such as diabetes.<br />

The medical profession and the community of people living<br />

with <strong>HIV</strong> have worked tirelessly over the past forty years to<br />

improve the lives of people affected by the virus. We know<br />

now that a person who is virally suppressed can not pass on<br />

the <strong>HIV</strong>, and being ‘undetectable’ helps prevent new<br />

infections. In our communities we know this by “U=U” or<br />

‘Undetectable equals Untransmittable’. In this project we<br />

show that people are defining themselves in positive ways<br />

regardless of them living with <strong>HIV</strong>.<br />

Effective treatment has liberated us from being patients to<br />

beings of life, hope and optimism.<br />

Please purchase this catalogue and why not buy a favourite<br />

portrait too?<br />

All money raised will go towards three amazing charities that<br />

work to reduce <strong>HIV</strong> related stigma and improve the lives of<br />

people living with <strong>HIV</strong>.<br />

From person to portrait<br />

Some of our portrait participants are <strong>HIV</strong> activists, but most<br />

are not. For many of our participants, taking part in this<br />

exhibition has been the first time that they have openly<br />

declared the fact that they are living<br />

with <strong>HIV</strong>.<br />

Each portrait participant chose their<br />

own unique way to represent the way<br />

that <strong>HIV</strong> is not something they define<br />

themselves by.<br />

After having telephone conversations,<br />

each participant met with Angus in a studio setting, bringing<br />

with them their props and objects they wanted in their<br />

portraits.<br />

Participants then chose the portrait with which<br />

they were happy with, and it is these portraits<br />

that you will see in this exhibition. The results<br />

are twenty four beautiful representations of<br />

people thriving, living with <strong>HIV</strong><br />

“As portrait photographers we ask a lot of the people we<br />

photograph. we ask that they trust us to represent their story<br />

with accuracy and grace.” Angus Stewart<br />

“I feel that Angus really got to understand each portrait<br />

subject. There is a twinkle in the eye of each person as their<br />

essence shines through. These portraits contradict the<br />

stereotypical images of people living with <strong>HIV</strong>, and it is the<br />

breaking of the shackles of stigma that this project aims to<br />

achieve.” David Fray<br />

For further information please visit<br />

www.moretomethan<strong>HIV</strong>.org.uk


The Facilitator<br />

<strong>HIV</strong> doesn't define people,<br />

and there is so much more to<br />

individuals than a long term<br />

health condition, and it is<br />

important to explain that so<br />

that people don't have any<br />

fear or disregard towards<br />

people living with <strong>HIV</strong>


Green Fingers<br />

<strong>HIV</strong> has taught me that,<br />

whatever life throws at us, we<br />

all deserve to be loved for<br />

who we are


The Artist<br />

In the 29 years since my own<br />

diagnosis, I have realised that<br />

one can manage and thrive<br />

and lead a full life. Through<br />

my journey I have learned to<br />

disregard negativity, and<br />

surround myself with people<br />

and environments that are<br />

beneficial, sincere and honest<br />

for the best health of both my<br />

body and mind


The Ballet Dancer<br />

I am living a happy and<br />

healthy life with <strong>HIV</strong> & I am<br />

fighting to end <strong>HIV</strong> stigma<br />

once and for all.<br />

There is so much more to me<br />

than <strong>HIV</strong>!<br />

Becoming <strong>HIV</strong> + has not<br />

stopped me from fulfilling my<br />

dreams as a professional<br />

dancer


Bee Charmer<br />

How I define myself nowadays<br />

is not what I am, but what I<br />

do, and hope to be.<br />

Now we know U=U, we can<br />

have plans for the future and<br />

passions and hobbies, just<br />

like anybody else


Craftsman<br />

U=U means freedom to me,<br />

because it makes it easier to<br />

tell somebody about my<br />

status.<br />

The more people who know<br />

about U=U the easier it is to<br />

live openly and not have to<br />

hide


The Reader<br />

There's more, much more, to<br />

me than <strong>HIV</strong>


The DJ<br />

I love playing music and<br />

DJ'ing, and that is why there<br />

is so much more to me than<br />

<strong>HIV</strong>


The Baker<br />

I am a proud Mum, baker and<br />

traveller.<br />

There is more to me than <strong>HIV</strong>


Be your shining light<br />

<strong>HIV</strong> is only a small part of me<br />

and does not define me and<br />

does not stop me.<br />

Discover the light within you,<br />

from the darkness of illness<br />

and long term conditions we<br />

find the inner light.<br />

Be light in life and have fun<br />

Be light in all ways<br />

Shine your light


Multitasker<br />

I allowed <strong>HIV</strong> to come into my<br />

life, and I am in charge of that.<br />

I'm still living, I'm still going<br />

about my business, and<br />

enjoying the fact that I am<br />

living a healthy life


The Dress Maker<br />

<strong>HIV</strong> is part of me, but it does<br />

not define me


Allotment Holder<br />

I felt like there was more to<br />

me, a lot more to me, than just<br />

the stigma that some people<br />

carry around with them


The Performer<br />

There's so many more things<br />

to me. <strong>HIV</strong> is just one of the<br />

things that is part of my life.<br />

It's not all of my life and it's<br />

not who I am


Weight Lifter<br />

There is a lot more to me than<br />

<strong>HIV</strong>.<br />

I have a lot of interests<br />

outside of my own health and<br />

wellbeing


Spiritualist<br />

Overcoming <strong>HIV</strong> has made<br />

me aware of how happy and<br />

jolly I am


Fashion Designer<br />

I am more than <strong>HIV</strong>, because<br />

<strong>HIV</strong> is just a tiny virus that has<br />

taken refuge in my body.<br />

It doesn't control my life and it<br />

certainly doesn't define who I<br />

am.<br />

I am just trying to live my best<br />

life


Library Officer<br />

Over three decades ago I was<br />

told I was <strong>HIV</strong>+, I was also<br />

told to make the next twelve<br />

months count.<br />

That was our reality.<br />

<strong>HIV</strong> and AIDS has tested me,<br />

but through a combination of<br />

flukes and luck, I'm now in<br />

charge of my <strong>HIV</strong> status and I<br />

can say, 'There's more to me<br />

Than <strong>HIV</strong>.


Grower<br />

<strong>HIV</strong> is the least of my worries.<br />

It's only a little tiny virus that is<br />

living in my body, and<br />

therefore it lives by my rules


The Yogi<br />

Despite being blind, I am a<br />

trustee of a charity that<br />

addresses loneliness, and<br />

brings the community together<br />

through food.<br />

There is more to me than <strong>HIV</strong>


Wanderlust<br />

There is definitely more to me<br />

than <strong>HIV</strong>. It’s just something<br />

that I live with, like having<br />

brown hair and freckles. There<br />

are more important things in<br />

life to focus on…. like trying to<br />

visit every country on my wish<br />

list!


The Activist<br />

I’ve created a UK based<br />

online peer support group for<br />

trans, non binary and gender<br />

diverse people living with <strong>HIV</strong>


Reverend<br />

I refuse to give up, because<br />

<strong>HIV</strong> does not define me, you<br />

will live to declare the glory of<br />

God. Stay healthy and love<br />

yourself


Cross Stitcher<br />

Before U=U I felt labelled with<br />

stigma, like in a box.<br />

Now I know I can’t pass it on, I<br />

don’t feel like I am any<br />

different to anybody else, and<br />

I feel free now


PrEPster seeks to educate and agitate for PrEP, the drug that when<br />

taken before sex can prevent <strong>HIV</strong>, access in England and beyond.<br />

Due to the hard work of activists and great community<br />

organisations PrEP is now available for free on the NHS.<br />

Sadly, many people, women, queer men of colour, trans<br />

and migrant communities, who would benefit from PrEP<br />

still have low levels of knowledge about the drug or face<br />

barriers to access it.<br />

If we are to reach the ambitious target of ending new <strong>HIV</strong><br />

transmissions by 2030, then PrEP should be accessible to all who would<br />

benefit from it.<br />

The work of PrEPster is key to making this happen. We have three<br />

approaches to reach the communities most at risk of <strong>HIV</strong>.<br />

Targeted social media promotion<br />

Community outreach into bars, venues, and community<br />

spaces<br />

Development of printed and online information resources<br />

Your generous donation will enable us to continue our work<br />

to raise awareness and support our<br />

communities.<br />

The Martin Fisher Foundation aims to facilitate and support a city wide<br />

response to getting Towards Zero <strong>HIV</strong> infections by<br />

the year 2030 in Brighton and Hove.<br />

The charity has delivered a number of innovations in<br />

<strong>HIV</strong> testing and stigma reduction including designing<br />

<strong>HIV</strong> and STI testing vending machines, and a<br />

working city bus with up to date facts on <strong>HIV</strong> and<br />

Stigma.<br />

These and other targeted activities have<br />

demonstrated an increase in testing and <strong>HIV</strong><br />

diagnoses, improved knowledge and a reduction in<br />

<strong>HIV</strong> stigma experiences.<br />

Any money raised will go towards events to continue<br />

to engaging stakeholders in reducing <strong>HIV</strong> stigma,<br />

workshops to support people living with <strong>HIV</strong> who<br />

experience stigma,<br />

ongoing rollout of vending machines and<br />

educational initiatives in <strong>HIV</strong> testing and<br />

stigma.Money raised from this exhibition<br />

will help to keep stocked the free <strong>HIV</strong> and<br />

sexual health testing kits in our ‘vending’<br />

machines.<br />

Learn more about Prepster by visiting the website www.prepster.info or<br />

scan the QR code on the right<br />

Learn more about the Martin Fisher Foundation by visiting the website<br />

www.themartinfisherfoundation.org or scan the QR code on the right


Photographer Angus Stewart<br />

Angus Stewart is a documentary photographer based in<br />

London.<br />

Working extensively with the circus, burlesque and<br />

cabaret communities in London over the past 10 years<br />

has produced a collection of work, depicting not just what<br />

happens on stage, but the families and communities that<br />

support it. London Burlesque: The Family Album will be<br />

published in 2022 by Circa Press.<br />

<strong>HIV</strong> stigma levels are high in the population of black migrant women of<br />

African/Afro-Caribbean heritage<br />

4M Network provides psychosocial support and<br />

mentoring to black migrant women living with <strong>HIV</strong> in<br />

the UK and internationally, throughout pregnancy and<br />

beyond. We do this through delivery of 'Pregnancy<br />

Journey’ and Train the Trainer workshops for women<br />

living with <strong>HIV</strong> training them as Mentor Mothers<br />

(MMs), capacity-building, supervision of MMs,<br />

advocacy, collaborations, partnerships and trainings<br />

with service providers on intersectional women’s<br />

issues. We have been providing these services since<br />

2016.<br />

We have engaged in academic research, presented<br />

at conferences, and co-authored journal publications.<br />

Our published training manuals are accessed<br />

globally.<br />

In the last year, 4M Network reached<br />

a total of 355 people with 35 trained MM volunteers.<br />

£100 could buy ten £10 SIM cards with data that<br />

would enable migrant mothers and mums on low<br />

income, to keep in touch with our trained mentors,<br />

and attend virtual meetings, training<br />

sessions and information webinars.<br />

Learn more about the 4M Network by visiting the website<br />

www.4mmm.org or scan the QR code on the right<br />

In 2017 Angus was<br />

commissioned to work with<br />

on a project on 'rights to the<br />

city' in Salvador and<br />

London as project with UCL<br />

London, this work was<br />

published by UCL Press in<br />

2020.<br />

In 2020 Angus was artist in<br />

residence at 3rd Space,<br />

Brixton, as part of the<br />

Lambeth Town Hall Arts<br />

Program documenting<br />

leadership in the borough.<br />

Currently working with Global Disability Innovation Hub<br />

(GDI Hub) on a programme called AT2030 - Life<br />

Changing Assistive Technology for All, documenting the<br />

charity's work with local activists and AT both in UK and<br />

Internationally.<br />

Visit www.angusstewart.me to discover more, or scan the QR code


Fighting <strong>HIV</strong> stigma with positive imagery<br />

<strong>MORE</strong><br />

<strong>TO</strong> <strong>ME</strong><br />

<strong>THAN</strong><br />

<strong>HIV</strong><br />

Photography by Angus Stewart<br />

London Lighthouse Gallery and Studio<br />

18 Lyell Street<br />

London City Island<br />

London<br />

E14 0SZ<br />

Company Reg No: 11556222. Vat Reg No. GB 305 820 233<br />

www.londonlighthousestudio.com<br />

The www.moretomethan<strong>HIV</strong>.org.uk<br />

website has further information about the<br />

project including multimedia slideshows<br />

and audio descriptions of the portraits for<br />

the visually impaired. Please scan the QR<br />

code on this page to visit the website

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