19 August – 9 September 2022: House of HIV
A journey full of stories
The exhibition House of Hiv, was organised in Amsterdam from 19 August to 9 September 2022. The expo looks back on forty years of living and dealing with HIV. Since the HIV epidemic broke out in the Netherlands four decades ago, many initiatives have been set up by the Dutch HIV communities that have had an impact on the response to and approach to HIV in our country. These often invisible initiatives were now shown to the general public for the first time.
In the exhibition, the journey is made from a life expectancy from zero to normal. Where AIDS used to be a death sentence, today HIV no longer poses a threat to public health and can no longer be sexually transmitted with the right medication. However, as a result, the attention for HIV has also decreased, which has ensured that the still prevailing taboo and stigma due to lack of knowledge is maintained. One of the goals of House of Hiv is to break through this, both within vulnerable groups that benefit from HIV treatment, and in society where there is often still an incorrect image of HIV.
40 years of HIV initiatives
The communities affected by HIV have played an important role in responding to and managing the disease. The exhibition focuses on four themes that together tell the story of forty years of living and dealing with HIV: remembering, caring, fighting and healing. The stories behind the initiatives are shown on the basis of different rooms, which together form the house. For example, buddy systems were introduced, Aids Memorial Day was created and the communities set up all kinds of prevention projects, such as PrEP workshops. The rooms will be filled with (historical) visual material, art and photo works by Basse Stittgen and Erwin Olaf, among others. House of Hiv is a house under construction and with this exhibition a start is made on archiving the history of Dutch HIV activism.
House of HIV
The exhibition was showcased at various locations in Amsterdam. The various rooms were furnished in the buildings of the Prostitution Information Center (PIC), Mainline/Poppi, Hiv Vereniging, IHLIA, Black Queer Archives, Trans United and Tetterode. Poppi kept the room about harm reduction, drug policy and HIV in the community of people who use drugs. We hope to showcase it again, as soon as we find a fixed location!
Check out the website www.housofhiv.nl to get a good feel of the full expo.