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HIV exhibition aims to inspire the next HIV free generation


As the world’s attention shifts to the fight against HIV and Aids, HIVSA and its online magazine, CHOMA will empower adolescents and young women to be the next HIV free generation. HIVSA is partnering with an up and coming curator, Zama Phakathi, to create an interactive art experience that communicates critical HIV and Aids issues to inspire positive change.

A Pop-up Experiential Art Exhibition will refocus the lens, taking a closer look at some of the issues that make South Africa the country most affected by HIV and Aids in the world. The exhibition will be open to explore from 25 November to 01 December 2014 at a shop between Jet and Smooch on the upper level of Southgate Mall, Johannesburg.

Phakathi (23) is the founder of Stop Sign Art Gallery at the Maboneng Precinct in Johannesburg, with a strong passion for the creative that tells stories words simply cannot convey on their own. Through the exhibition, Phakathi will bring the shocking statistics released by the *Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) to life in lead-up and support of World Aids Day.

“We will be creating experiences to instil in people what  the statistics really mean, what role their actions play and aim to inspire them to change the current plight by choosing to be the next HIV free generation,” says Phakathi.

“It is extremely worrying to see that with the highest HIV infection rate in the world, even though 70% of people know the facts about HIV transmission, 79% of people do not think they are at risk and only 36% of people use condoms consistently,” says Jean Armstrong, CEO of HIVSA.

Among other things, the installation will include a ‘Before-I-Die’ style chalkboard wall with the words ‘I keep myself and others safe by______’, encouraging visitors to complete the sentence in chalk; and a condom engagographic portraying the words ‘Be Safe’, written in white and blue condoms, which will entice visitors to peel off and take a condom with them to increase the number of people who use condoms.

World Aids Day is held on 01 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV and Aids, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.

The HIVSA Adolescent and Young Women project in support of HIV awareness and World Aids Day, forms part of the CHOMA Inspiring Positive Change campaign, which encourages young women to express themselves and tell the world what inspires them to achieve their dreams and remain HIV free.

CHOMA is HIVSA’s interactive mobi magazine that ensures that everything from love and relationships to inspiration, health, fashion and beauty gets readers coming back on a regular basis. Their main goal however, is to engage with young women through Facebook, Mxit, Mobi, and Twitter in a way that inspires and empowers them to be the next HIV free generation.  In just over a year CHOMA has built up an audience of over 680 000 subscribers.

“The Inspiring Positive Change campaign looks at the age-old conventions around HIV and Aids from a different point of view,” says Armstong. “We interact with the youth to create discussion that is relevant to adolescent and young women to ultimately inspire real, tangible and positive change.”

“If you truly understand how HIV can be prevented, how it is transmitted, and the reality of living with HIV today - you can use this knowledge to take care of your own health, the health of others, and ensure you treat everyone living with HIV fairly, and with respect and understanding,” says Phakathi.

The exhibition will be accessible during mall hours from Tuesday, 25 November 2014 to Monday, 01 December 2014.

For more information about HIVSA contact 011 494 1900 or visit www.hivsa.com. Alternatively, connect with CHOMA Magazine at Choma.mobi, on Facebook, at MyChoma on Mxit, and @Chomamag on Twitter.

* The Human Science Research Council released the South African National HIV Prevalence, Incident and Behaviours Survey, 2012.

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