From September 2015--May 2016, I worked on my senior thesis project: Positive (adj.). Positive (adj.) is a project in which I have been documenting people living with HIV/AIDS in order to show a more realistic representation of what it is like to live with the virus. The subjects I have photographed range in age from 25 to 75. Some are men, and some are women. The reasons for contraction range from prenatal transmission, to sexual intercourse (consensual and not), to drug use. My subjects encompass all races and walks of life. Despite their HIV status, most of my project participants are in great health. Because of their HIV status, most are wrongly discriminated against or stereotyped.
It is my greatest hope that, through my project, I can dispel any previous misconceptions viewers might have regarding HIV/AIDS. What’s more, I also hope to make a point about the current state of healthcare/treatment for the virus. While, twenty years ago, an HIV diagnosis was a death sentence, now, those with a positive status are able to lead a “normal” life. So many people, especially my age, are so misinformed about what it is like to live with HIV. Through Positive (adj.) I would like to make the point that HIV is an adjective, and not a noun. HIV is just one of many things that describes my subjects, but it does not define them… It is something they have, but not who they are.