All Together Human – Protest Art Exhibit
Keep the 15th of June free in your diary! ACT UP, a Dublin-based non-partisan activist group will be hosting an EXCITING art exhibition entitled “All Together Human”. RippleZoo will be heading down to support and it looks set to be a great evening. We hope you can pop in and take a look 😉
The event is part of Irish Aids Day and is taking place at 6:00 pm in Filmbase Temple Bar. It will feature new work from a range of amazing Irish artists with all the proceeds going towards funding ACT UP in their quest to end the HIV/AIDS crisis. The 15 original works will be on sale by means of a silent auction. There will also be an exhibit of Dubliners holding signs with “Human” written on it. The exhibition is an attempt to draw the conversation away from statistics and back to the human element of this issue.
HIV/AIDS is an issue that many, including the organiser of the event, Will St Leger, feel has been pushed to the side and largely ignored. Preliminary figures from Ireland’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre suggest that more new HIV diagnoses were reported in 2016 than in any previous year, a 6% increase from 2015 which itself saw a 30% rise from 2014. This alarming spike means that among men who have sex with men (MSM) the 60 cases of HIV in 2005 have risen to 247 as of 2015. ACT UP feels there is a lack of awareness of this alarming growth and of HIV/AIDS itself, particularly amongst the younger generations. As of 2015, there were over 500 people in Ireland living with HIV/AIDS at a rate of 10.6 per 100,000 it is nearly double the E.U average.
(Portraits of everyday people showing their solidarity for Irish Aids Day. Photos by Hazel Coonagh Photography are part of All Together Human – Protest Art)
ACT UP have been campaigning for over a year now for the government and Health Service Executive (HSE) to offer PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) pills to those who are at risk of being exposed to HIV. PrEp has been found to reduce the risk of HIV infection massively. The United States Centers for Disease Control, The World Health Organization, and UNAIDS all recommend the use of PrEP, before and after sex, for those at risk of being exposed to HIV. Despite this, it is not available through the public health service and while a doctor can prescribe it people must pay for it themselves which puts an economic barrier to access. For more information on both the exhibition and on HIV/AIDS in general, please check out the ACT UP website and Facebook event, we hope to see you all there.
(Piece by Jim Fitzpatrick Gallery on sale at the exhibition.)
“HIV in Ireland- 2015 report” HSE, Health Protection Surveillance Centre. Dublin 2016. https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/hivstis/hivandaids/hivdata/File,15862,en.pdf