stand tall get snapped: 30 HIV+ people
The creation of the project came after my experience of taking PEP after exposure to the HIV virus.
The medication had severe and very unpleasant side effects, which aroused intense feeling and speculations on my part, as to what it must be like to actually have a positive HIV diagnosis.
As a direct result, I was determined to undertake this project with the intention to expose the still widely held misconception, that HIV is largely restricted to gay men and people of black African origin. In addiction to that I wanted to offer to affected individuals a unique opportunity to share their experiences and have their positive status recognised in a very public way by being included in a photographic exhibition.
Finally, as you are probably aware, 2011 marks the 30th anniversary since Terrence Higgins, one of the first man to die of AIDS in the UK, was officially recognised by the NHS and it is also the official recognition of HIV and AIDS as an epidemic by the American Medical Authority. So what better way to celebrate this anniversary with 30 people proud to stand tall?
Over the 2011 year I have been busy across the UK. I have travelled from Glasgow to Bournemouth, photographing 30 people living with HIV, from young to old, male and female, white and non-white, gay and straight. The most recently diagnosed was 3 months and the longest, 27 years living with HIV.
I visited the 30 subjects in their home locations across the UK, photographing them within their settings, intended to illustrate their individual stories.