Access to Life

Art Life , Exhibitions Dec 28, 2012 1 Comment

From Andrew Frost

It was thirty years ago that the first case of HIV was diagnosed in Australia. In 1990 more than 7 million people had been infected and by 2000 that number had more than tripled. Although rate of infection has stablised, today more than 34 million people are living with the disease, the majority of them in developing nations.


The exhibition Access to Life puts faces to those statistics. Nine photographers from the Magnum agency travelled the world to record “…people with HIV and AIDS, their families and communities, and the health care workers from ten countries. The photos capture the emotional stories of people before and four months after receiving the antiretroviral treatment.” The exhibition includes images from those places hardest hit by HIV, from India, Vietnam, Russia, Swaziland, Haiti and Mali to South Africa, Peru, Rwanda and Papua New Guinea. Touring the world since 2008, the exhibition is a document to an ongoing campaign of awareness and action. The Australian response and approach to HIV and AIDS is told in HIV & AIDS 30 years on: the Australian story, an display that accompanies Access to Life.

Until June 9
Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo.
Pic: Esther Eka is HIV positive and undergoing treatment with retrovirals. Tari, Papua New Guinea. ?© Chris Steele-Perkins, Magnum Photos.

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Andrew Frost

One Comments

  1. This project is rather similiar to ‘POSITIVE LIVES’ which was a similar exhibition, book, website and ongoing dialogue about People with HIV/Aids, started by the London based community Aids organisation Terrence Higgins Trust. It still remains a powerful body of work and its engagement with people around the world. I was chosen as one of the Australian photographers representing the stories of HIV positive children and people in Sydney. Cheers C.Moore Hardy

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