Today we reflect on all of the people that are infected with HIV, to educate people about this disease, to inspire through the courageous leadership of others, and to honor those that have died in this horrible pandemic. I myself have been HIV+ for over twelve years now. I am what I once considered others to be a long term survivor. To deal with some of my fears and anxieties about this disease I embarked on a project a few years ago to make portraits of people living with HIV/AIDS for ten years or more called Long Term Survivors. These are just a handful of faces that have been affected by a disease that has affected millions and millions of lives but it is my intent that in these photos the viewer will see hope and promise for healthier and longer lives for all those affected by HIV.
David, Queens, NY
This second series is a project I worked on in 1998-1999 called Housing is Healthcare. It was a public health campaign to raise awareness about the important link between having housing and being able to tend to the stress of being HIV+. There being thousands of homeless people with HIV the notion that treatment needs to be paired with the stability of housing is something that needed reinforcing from a public health perspective. This project took me around the country and into shelters and temporary housing situations that were truly eye opening. The intention was not to make portraiture but to photograph the environments that these people created and how they made these shelter spaces feel like home. I feel that I came away from this project with a very strong body of work and a greater sense of the architecture of poverty and disease.
Chris, Boyd Hotel; San Francisco, CA.