AHF Partners with National Center for Civil and Human Rights to Unveil “Atlanta’s HIV+ Population Now” Art Sculpture

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AHF–In recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Month, AIDS
Healthcare Foundation (AHF) partnered with the Center for Civil and
Human Rights (CCHR)
to unveil “Atlanta’s HIV+ Population Now”
art sculpture yesterday. The unveiling of this very powerful
artistic presentation was preceded by a short luncheon update for the
media on the status of HIV in our community and the work of AID Atlanta,
one of the oldest and largest HIV/AIDS service organizations in the
south-east, in addressing the current crisis.


Created through support from the AHF Grant Fund, “Atlanta’s HIV+
Population Now”, an 8-foot arts installation, designed by local
Atlanta artist Matthew Terrell,
shows audiences the ever-growing
problem of new HIV diagnoses in the Atlanta metro area. Taking
inspiration from the iconic “Atlanta’s Population Now” sign
located
on Peachtree Street, which has charted our city’s growth since 1965, the
“Atlanta’s HIV+ Population Now” sign uses data from the CDC (which has
been compiled by the AIDSvu Map project at Emory University) to show how
many people are diagnosed every day with HIV in the Atlanta Metro Area.

The piece, which takes the form of a pyramidal sign, simple text, and
interchangeable marquee-style digits, will stay on display in the
lower, external courtyard area of CCHR through June 27th, National
HIV/AIDS Testing Day.
To further exemplify the impact of the HIV
epidemic in the Atlanta community, and to encourage public engagement,
every Friday at 12 noon, the artist will update the numbers in the
marquee and will be on hand to discuss HIV with visitors, and to talk
about the meaning of the project.

Recent statistics by AIDSvu show that, nationally, the downtown Atlanta
corridor has one of the highest rates of people living with an HIV
diagnosis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also
reported that the HIV prevalence rate among people living in urban
poverty areas is very high (2.1%) and exceeds the 1% cut-off that
defines a generalized HIV epidemic.

“As AHF continues to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in communities across
the nation, we have found the arts to be a powerful tool for breaking
down the barriers of stigma and judgment, providing awareness and
encouraging powerful and transformative dialogue on how diverse
communities can work to combat this major public health issue,” shared Imara
Canady
, AHF Southern Bureau Regional Director for Communications and
Community Engagement. “Through this artistic expression, we hope to both
continue the awareness of the impact of the HIV epidemic in Atlanta and
to work with the Center for Civil and Human Rights team, to create
thought-provoking public discourse on how this community can address
this epidemic.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS
organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over
694,000 individuals in 35 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin
America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn
more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org,
find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth
and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare
and Instagram: @aidshealthcare

About Matthew Terrell:

Matthew Terrell works as an artist, writer, and communication
professional in the fine city of Atlanta. His work focuses on issues
such as HIV/AIDS, drag culture, queer Southern identity, and the
intersection of sexuality and technology. Terrell’s visual art has shown
in San Francisco, Atlanta, and Savannah. He contributes reviews, essays,
and articles for publications including BURNAWAY Magazine, VICE,
Huffington Post, Creative Loafing, and ArtsATL. Terrell has spoken about
issues related to HIV (including organ donation, PrEP, and other
prevention initiatives), for NPR’s Here and Now, Georgia Public
Broadcasting’s On Second Thought, and WABE’s Closer Look. His proudest
moment was, while researching an article on Keith Haring’s work in
Atlanta, finding a missing fragment of the original Haring mural.
Terrell helped return the piece to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
Terrell has attended Djerassi Resident Artist Program, Atlantic Center
for the Arts, The Studios of Key West, and Serenbe Artist Residency. He
has a BFA and MFA in writing from SCAD, and an MA in communications from
Georgia State University. Terrell was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in
Prague, and studied international media at Charles University 2008-2009.
He is an alum of Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta class of 2016, Burnaway
Emerging Arts Writers Mentorship Program in 2015, and NPR’s Next
Generation Radio in 2006.

About the Center for Civil and Human Rights:

The Center for Civil and Human Rights in Downtown Atlanta is an engaging
cultural attraction that connects The American Civil Rights Movement to
today’s Global Human Rights Movements. The Center features a
continuously rotating exhibit from The Morehouse College Martin Luther
King, Jr. Collection, which includes many of Dr. King’s documents and
personal items. Visitors will be immersed in experiential exhibits
through powerful and authentic stories, historic documents, compelling
artifacts, and interactive activities. The Center is a source for
ongoing dialogue — hosting educational forums and attracting
world-renowned speakers and artists who work on a variety of human
rights topics.

Contacts

AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Imara Canady, Regional Director,
Communications and Community Engagement, AHF Southern Bureau
+1.404.870.7789
work
+1.954.952.0258 mobile
imara.canady@aidshealth.org