When I first embarked on this project, I, like many others, held the misconception that HIV/AIDS didn't touch the lives of those around me. But as I delved into this project, it became clear just how far from the truth that perception was.
Austin Faces AIDS is more than a project—it's a mission to humanize a global epidemic. Through portraits and stories, we aim to challenge the facelessness of HIV/AIDS, offering a local perspective to a worldwide crisis. Each face in our project represents not just a statistic, but a person with a unique story, irrespective of their background, beliefs, or identity.
The numbers are staggering—39 million worldwide, 1.2 million people in the US are living with HIV/AIDS. According to the latest CDC data: About 13% (153,500) of people with HIV in the U.S. don't know it and so need testing!
Yet, these figures only scratch the surface of the profound impact this disease has on individuals and communities.
By giving a face to these statistics, I hope to dismantle the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS. It's crucial to show that this disease doesn't discriminate; it affects people regardless of socioeconomic status, religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.
Through Austin Faces AIDS, I've witnessed the power of storytelling and imagery in fostering understanding and empathy. It's a reminder that behind every number, there's a person with dreams, struggles, and resilience.
This project has transformed my perspective, reminding me of the importance of empathy and awareness in combating stigma. There's still much work to be done, but every face and story shared brings us closer to a world where HIV/AIDS is met with compassion and understanding, not judgment or fear.