International artists and scientists raise funds to support women living with HIV in Asia and the Pacific

ViiV Healthcare Australia

Monday 24 June 2024, Melbourne Australia: The National Association of People with HIV Australia (NAPWHA) and ViiV Healthcare Australia are proud to announce the proceeds from the 2023 HIV Science as Art Exhibition will be used to support people living with HIV in Asia and the Pacific, with a specific focus on key populations.

In its inaugural year, the HIV Science as Art Exhibition raised over $20,000 AUD, which will be used to support programs and services for people living with HIV in the Asia Pacific region.

Having premiered at the Brisbane International AIDS Conference in 2023, HIV Science as Art brought spectacular scientific advancements in HIV to life through the work of extraordinary artists living with HIV from around the world.

Scott Harlum, President of NAPWHA, says the organisation was extremely proud to support the HIV Science as Art initiative in 2023, which has resulted in 18 microgrants being awarded to small organisations across South East Asia and the Pacific region.

“Generating funding for 18 grants is an excellent outcome and much more than we had hoped for. It is wonderful to bring this project to a close knowing that it has been such a great success. I’m extremely proud that NAPWHA has delivered on its undertaking to ensure that the proceeds raised will improve the lives of people with HIV in our region,” he said.

Harry Prabowo, Program manager of Asia Pacific Network of People living with HIV/AIDS and Sita Shahi, Regional Coordinator of International Community of Women Living with HIV Asia Pacific, believe the microgrants are a great option to help fund exciting and innovative grassroots programs developed by and for the Asia Pacific HIV community.

“The microgrant applications highlighted the community’s excitement, enthusiasm and commitment to helping improve the lives of people living with HIV in the Asia Pacific. We were overwhelmed with the number of brilliant ideas and programs that were submitted, and the 18 grants awarded are a testament to the community’s ongoing dedication, innovation and hard work in the space.”

“We hope to continue creating opportunities for grassroots community programs to secure funding via microgrants in the future,” they said.

The HIV epidemic in Asia and the Pacific disproportionately affects people from key populations and their sexual partners.1 Despite great efforts, the region, which accounted for almost one quarter of all new global HIV transmissions in 20221, is struggling to combat the epidemic and falling behind global targets, having seen only a 14% reduction in new transmissions between 2010 and 2022.1

Ann Maccarrone, Community Engagement and Partnerships Manager at ViiV Healthcare Australia, says the micro grants will help support people living with HIV in the Asia Pacific region and assist with grass-roots community-led progress in meeting global targets.

“It is vital that regions, like Asia and the Pacific, who are struggling with increased rates of HIV transmission are supported as they continue to strive to meet global targets. The micro grants will give community organisations access to short-term funding opportunities that will help turn ideas into reality and help make a positive impact in communities and foster progress toward targets to end AIDS”.

Following a successful first year, HIV Science as Art will return at the Munich International AIDS Conference in July 2024.

HIV Science as Art 2023 was a project of the National Association of People Living with HIV Australia in partnership with the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health, Holdsworth House Medical Practice, Metro Arts, the International AIDS Society, and Queensland Positive People. Funding for this project was provided by ViiV Healthcare Australia through an unrestricted educational grant.

/Public Release.