Special Offer: Get 20% Off All Prints Until March 1st!


This week we're excited to announce that we've added 50 new prints to our online store, and to celebrate, we're offering a 20% discount on all purchases from today until March 1st!

Our student-made collages are exhibited around the world, from secondary schools and university campuses to global conferences and recognized museums and galleries. With close to 100 different images available online, now is a great time to purchase hand-signed limited edition prints to hang on your wall or give to your family and friends.

How to claim the coupon:

  1. Visit our online store.
  2. Browse our collection of limited edition prints and add your favourites to the shopping cart.
  3. When you check out, make sure to type "NEWPRINTS" into the coupon box.
  4. Check out.

By purchasing a print, you'll be sharing Art for AIDS International's message and supporting the programmes we fund in Africa.

We'll add another 50 prints to the store in the coming weeks, so check our blog regularly for more updates. Until then, here's a peak at a few of the new additions to our online shop!


Thanks for your support!

The Great Moon Gathering

The following post was written by Art for AIDS Marketing and Communications Intern Robyn Bell.

Moosonee 2

This month, we were honoured to exhibit at the Great Moon Gathering in Moosonee, Ontario; an annual conference hosted by the Mushkegowuk Tribal Council and Omushkego Education to promote life-long learning opportunities for the Cree community and support cross-community collaboration. The conference brought together educators from the eight Omushkego Education Authorities and the surrounding communities to engage in professional development, and to share resources and ideas with one another. This year's theme was The Spirit Voice... Lessons from the Land.

Over the last few years, Art for AIDS has had the opportunity to host workshops with students in Moosonee and neighbouring Moose Factory, Ontario, which has resulted growing community dialogue about HIV and AIDS, as well as broader related issues, and in the creation of powerful works of art. At the Great Moon Gathering, we had the opportunity to share some of this work with the broader community and engage with other educators about the importance art plays in education. We also hosted new workshops with Delores D Echum Composite School in Moose Factory.

We are extremely grateful to have been invited to participate in the conference and share our work with others. Thank you to Irene Tomatuk, the Director Of Education at the Mushkegowuk Council, and Vic Linklater, the Great Moon Gathering Coordinator, for inviting us to attend the event. Thank you also to the students, teachers, and administrators at Delores D Echum Composite School for their support and fantastic participation. We'll be sharing their artwork online in the coming few weeks!

For more information on the Mushkegowuk Council, please visit: http://www.mushkegowuk.com/

Art for AIDS International Recognized for Community Innovation [VIDEO]

This past week, Art for AIDS International won the Community Innovation Award at the 2012 Pillar Nonprofit Network Community Innovation Awards.

The award, which was presented at the London Convention Centre in front of over 600 community members, was accepted by Art for AIDS Executive Director, Hendrikus Bervoets.

"On behalf of all of us at Art for AIDS, I am humbled and honoured to receive this recognition" said Bervoets. "Our organization grew out of an initiative aimed at encouraging young people in London to take part in the global response to HIV and AIDS. The passion and enthusiasm that these young people, and the broader London community have shown for our work, however, has been a driving force for us to expand beyond our own backyard and into schools and communities around the world."

In addition to Hendrikus' presence at the event, a number of Art for AIDS Board Members were also in attendance.

"I have been a Board member of Art for AIDS for over 5 years and during this time been extremely impressed with the innovative and collaborative nature of the organization which is aimed at providing education, advocacy and support for those affected by HIV and AIDS throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Hendrikus provides passion and energy in every workshop and encounter he has and helped to elevate the issue of HIV and AIDS throughout our community" said Andrew Chunilall, Director of Finance for the London Community Foundation, and Treasurer of the Board of Directors at Art for AIDS International.

All of us at Art for AIDS are honoured to receive the recognition, and would like to thank Pillar Nonprofit Network and the London community for their ongoing support, and for the enthusiasm they've shown for our work.

You can see all the photos from the Community Innovation Awards on the Pillar Nonprofit Network Facebook page. You can also watch the short video presented by Pillar at the ceremony below:

Art for AIDS International Exhibits at the Apartheid Museum

In 2009, Art for AIDS International was privileged to host a four month exhibit at the landmark Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa. This week, and three years later, we are excited to announce that the Apartheid Museum will be opening a new exhibit, featuring artwork produced during Art for AIDS workshops held throughout South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Canada.

While Art for AIDS workshops seek to educate young people about HIV and AIDS, interconnected themes related to social justice, equality, respect, and responsibility play important roles in our discussion with students, and this is often represented in the artwork they produce. This work, as a result, is a perfect addition to the Apartheid Museum's permanent exhibit which focuses on diverse themes related to democracy, equality, reconciliation, diversity, responsibility, respect and freedom.

The exhibit will run into the new year and all exhibited prints will be available for purchase in the Apartheid Museum gift shop with proceeds supporting local projects benefiting women and children affected by HIV and AIDS. For more information about this exhibit, please contact us.

About the Apartheid Museum

The Apartheid Museum opened in 2001 and is acknowledged as the pre-eminent museum in the world dealing with 20th century South Africa, at the heart of which is the apartheid story.

Recognizing Humanitarianism at Home and Abroad

On a daily basis, stories about war, poverty, disease, and injustice dominate the news and can be easy to recognize in the community around us. Despite this, there are equally as many stories highlighting success at the individual, community, and global levels worth acknowledgment and celebration.

This week, in recognition of World Humanitarian Day, we would like to recognize the tireless work of the doctors, nurses, engineers, teachers, and aid workers around the world, that every day overcome adversity and work improve people's lives. We would also like to thank the young people who contribute their vision of a better world through art in our workshops, the teachers who invite us into their school communities, and our own team of volunteers for their hard work and enthusiasm.

As we recognize World Humanitarian Day, let's each take up the simple call to do something good for someone else, as often as we can.

Learn more about World Humanitarian Day, or how you can get involved at: http://www.un.org/en/events/humanitarianday/

HIV and Young People [Infographic]

In 2011, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) challenged young people from around the world to collaborate and crowdsource the next global HIV strategy. This past April, we were excited to share that strategy with all of you along with our commitment support tens of thousands of young people in promoting this campaign. Today, to build on that commitment, we wanted to share with you the latest CrowdOutAIDS infographic and encourage all of you in turn to share this important information with others.

Globally, its estimated that five million young people (15-24 years of age) are living with HIV. About 3000 young people are newly infected with HIV each day. According to recent surveys in low- and middle-income countries, only 24% of young women and 36% of young men responded correctly when asked questions on HIV prevention and transmission.

Browse more data visualizations.

For more details on CrowdOutAIDS visit http://www.crowdoutaids.org/.

To read other Art for AIDS International posts related to UNAIDS visit: http://www.artforaidsinternational.org/tag/unaids/

Students use visual art to stop the spread of HIV in South Africa [Gallery]

Over the past few months we've been incredibly busy hosting workshops with a growing group of students in Canada, and throughout southern Africa. Most recently, this has included two solid weeks of work with some incredible young people in Soweto and Johannesburg. [See photos below!]

Hendrikus Bervoets, Art for AIDS International's Executive Director, hosted workshops with 192 students in six high schools and at the University of Johannesburg in partnership with the University's Department of Community Engagement. These workshops introduced students to a range of themes including HIV prevention and testing, gender and racial equality, self-esteem, and social justice through the medium of art making.

“The student's excitement was really quite unbelievable. I walked into the classrooms as a complete and total stranger and talked to rooms full of South African students. While I was a stranger when I walked in, however, I felt that I walked out as a friend. In such a short period of time there was this phenomenal connection and discussion being made with young people” - Hendrikus Bervoets

All of the workshops were facilitated by Hendrikus with support from 8 University of Johannesburg students who are part of a collaborative Art for AIDS mentorship programme there. The secondary school workshops were also used to collect important data as part of a longitudinal study on information quality, comprehension and of course, student enjoyment during Art for AIDS workshops. This data helps us continue to ensure our workshops are effective, enjoyable, and tailored to be regionally relevant to the participants.

During the workshops, we were also privileged to notify a student from Noordgesig Secondary School, Busisiwe, that she had won a scholarship sponsored by the Ontario Teachers' Federation (OTF), culminating an Art for AIDS/OTF school Twinning Project organised last year between Noordgesig and Northern Lights Secondary School in Moosonee, Ontario.

All of us at Art for AIDS would like to thank the Department of Community Engagement from the University of Johannesburg for their support and partnership, as well as the University’s mentorship students who volunteered their time to support the workshop process, and to act as role models for the secondary school participants. We would also like to thank the Ontario Teachers' Federation for their support, sponsorship, and for their dedication to empowering young people through education. Finally, we would like to thank each of the students for their questions, comments, and for the incredible pieces of artwork they produced and shared - which we will soon be sharing with all of you.

Holding workshops is an extremely important part of what Art for AIDS does. Although not everyone is infected with HIV, everyone is affected by it. It is crucial, therefore, that everyone, and especially young people, are educated about the realities of the the global AIDS epidemic, and engaged in the response. If you would like to learn more about our workshops, visit our Workshops page or contact us directly!

“All in all, it was fantastic. I came back to Canada with renewed energy and excitement for the work that I do".

Check out our gallery for photos from our workshops, and to catch a glimpse at some of the great artwork that the participants produced.

CrowdOutAIDS: A new youth-driven, youth-focused HIV strategy

In 2011, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) challenged young people from around the world to collaborate and crowdsource the next global HIV strategy. Today, after five months of collaborative efforts, youth leaders from around the world met in Abuju Nigeria to present CrowdOutAIDS to UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé; a new strategy produced by more than 5000 young people from 79 countries that will guide the UNAIDS Secretariat’s work on HIV and young people through 2015.

Leveraging social media and new crowdsourcing technology enabled young people to shape the future of the global response to AIDS, a first in United Nations history. “It brought decision-making to the grassroots, to the skilled and unskilled, learned and unlearned, rich and poor, to contribute to an issue that affects all our lives: HIV," said Nigerian activist Gabriel Adeyemo.

“I am so impressed by the dedication, energy and enthusiasm that young people have shown through the CrowdOutAIDS initiative,” said Mr Sidibé. “The recommendations they have presented to UNAIDS will help us mobilize a new generation of young leaders and we will work together to stop new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths.”

Globally, its estimated that five million young people (15-24 years of age) are living with HIV. About 3000 young people are newly infected with HIV each day. According to recent surveys in low- and middle-income countries, only 24% of young women and 36% of young men responded correctly when asked questions on HIV prevention and transmission.

Through CrowdOutAIDS, young people proposed six key recommendations for the UNAIDS Secretariat:

  • Strengthen young people’s skills for effective leadership at all levels of the AIDS response;
  • Ensure the full participation of youth in the AIDS response at country, regional, and global levels;
  • Improve young people’s access to HIV-related information;
  • Diversify and strengthen strategic networks between the UNAIDS Secretariat, youth networks, and other key players;
  • Increase the UNAIDS Secretariat’s outreach to both formal and informal networks of young people; and,
  • Increase young people’s access to financial support.

“We have worked together, using the simplest tools—each one of us in their own corner of the world—to create spaces of exchange and draft this important document in real-time, public online sessions,” said Zahra Benyahia, a CrowdOutAIDS drafting committee member. “This is not the end. It’s the first step toward revolutionary youth leadership in the AIDS response.”

For more details on CrowdOutAIDS visit http://www.crowdoutaids.org/ or check out UNAIDS' Press Release

Photo Source: CrowdOutAIDS

AIDS in 2011: A Year in Review

2011 was a mixed bag in the global response to AIDS. While exciting medical breakthroughs in treatment and prevention hint at tremendous potential to reduce the transmission of HIV, these were often offset by reduced financial investment,  profiteering, and discriminatory national policies. As we enter the 4th decade of HIV, we wanted to take a look back at some of the biggest stories that defined the AIDS response in 2011.

11 Major Stories from 2011

AIDS turns 30

30 years ago, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report outlining five cases of what was believed to be a rare form of pneumonia. In retrospect, this report would be the first official one to outline what is now recognized widely as the HIV epidemic.

Read our special feature on 30 Years of HIV.

ARVs Prevent Infection

On May 12, the results of the HPTN 052 trial indicated that if an HIV-positive person adheres to an effective antiretroviral therapy regimen, the risk of transmitting the virus to their uninfected sexual partner can be reduced by 96 percent.

The story, which made global headlines in May, was recently hailed as the biggest breakthrough of 2011.

Anti-Gay Legislation

In May, Ugandan MPs backing an anti-homosexuality bill, which included a death penalty clause for repeat offenders, said they would move forward with it, despite President Museveni's calls for them to abandon it.

In November, Nigeria's Senate voted to criminalize gay marriage, gay advocacy groups and same-sex public displays of affection.

Contraception and the Risk of HIV

In October, a seven-country study published in the Lancet showed that women using hormonal shots to prevent pregnancy, such as the contraceptive Depo-provera, increased their risk of contracting HIV, and doubled the chance that they transmit HIV to their partners. This was major news because helping women avoid unwanted pregnancy is an important part of reducing mother-to-child transmission.

Medicines Patent Pool

In July, the Medicines Patent Pool announced their first agreement with pharmaceutical company - Gilead Sciences - to improve access to HIV and Hepatitis B treatment in developing countries. The Patent Pool was created in 2010 to improve access to HIV medicines by enabling the negotiation of voluntary patent licences to generic pharma companies, enabling them to develop and distribute new formulations.

Generic Anti-Retrovirals under Fire

In March, thousands protested terms in the ongoing free trade agreement between the EU and India, which pushes for tougher intellectual property regulations - threatening the production of generic pharmaceuticals in India, which currently produces the majority of anti-retroviral drugs used in developing countries.

Read more in UNAIDS's Press Statement.

Funding Cuts for HIV

In November, poor funding resulted in the Global Fund's decision to cancel its 11th round of funding. The Global Fund is responsible for about 70% of HIV treatment in developing countries.

Earlier in the year, the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS released a report showing that funding fell from US$7.6 billion in 2009 to $6.9 billion in 2010 - the first time funding has dropped in more than a decade.

New Targets in Global AIDS Response

In June, at the UN High Level Meeting on AIDS, a new set of targets was outlined for the global AIDS response. Simply put: "Zero new infections, zero stigma and zero AIDS-related deaths".  The meeting concluded with the adoption of a declaration that seeks, by 2015, to double the number of people on ARVs to 15 million, end mother-to-child transmission, halve TB-related deaths in people living with HIV, and increase preventive measures for the "most vulnerable populations".

Crowdsourcing New HIV Strategy

In September, UNAIDS, recognizing the important role of young people in the global AIDS response, launched a digital campaign aimed at encouraging young people to crowdsource a new strategy on HIV and Youth. The campaign, #CrowdOutAIDS, provides platforms for young people to interact and engage with each other regarding issues related to HIV in their community and seeks to reach a collective set of agreements out of these interactions.

More Political Misinformation

In November, Leader of the Democratic Alliance in South Africa, Helen Zille, called for people who knowingly infected others with HIV to be charged with attempted murder, and quested why the government should pay for people who contracted HIV through "irresponsible behaviour".

On August 1st, Uganda's Minister of Health, Christine Ondoa, claimed she knew three people who had been cured of HIV through prayer.

New HIV Vaccine Approved for Trial

In December, the first and only preventative HIV vaccine based on a genetically modified killed whole virus has received approval by the FDA to start human clinical trials.

Developed at The University of Western Ontario, with the support of Sumagen Canada, the vaccine (SAV001) holds tremendous promise, stimulating strong immune responses in preliminary tests with no adverse effects or safety risks.

As we enter the 4th decade of HIV, there is no better time than now to celebrate success and renew our committment as responsible individuals, volunteers, activists, and sponsors. Reaching Zero New Infections is possible - and we hope it will be at the top of everyone's resolution list this year.

UNAIDS features collaborative Art for AIDS project

In September we told you about a collaborative pilot project between North Star Alliance, the World Food Programme, and of course, Art for AIDS, focused on extending our arts-based workshops model to truck drivers, sex workers, and students located in both Beit Bridge and Harare, Zimbabwe. While this was by no means our first student-workshop (check out our full list of workshop locations), it was the first time we had hosted workshops with truck drivers and sex workers, two populations that are particularly vulnerable to, and disproportionately affected by HIV, STIs, and other communicable diseases.

Following the workshops, all of us at Art for AIDS were excited by both the powerful artwork each participant produced, and by the high quality discussions about HIV that came out of the workshops. Over the past few months, we've been even more excited to watch public enthusiasm for this project grow.

Thanks to tremendous support from both North Star Alliance and the World Food Programme this project was featured with a large exhibition in September at the International Fund for Agricultural Development's (IFAD) Global Knowledge Share Fair, and at the World Food Programme's Head Quarters over World AIDS Day. The project has also been featured at exhibits in London and Toronto, Canada, and in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

This week, UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) highlighted this initiative as well by posting a special photo gallery  showcasing some of the works of art produced along with an explanation of the project. To view this gallery, please click the image below:

We would like to thank UNAIDS for highlighting this feature, and both North Star Alliance and the World Food Programme for the tremendous work they do, and the vision and support they've brought to this initiative.

About North Star Alliance

North Star Alliance is a not-for-profit public private partnership that provides healthcare and information to truck drivers, sex workers, and border communities through a network of roadside health clinics across Africa.

You can learn more about North Star by visiting them online or by joining them on Facebook.

About The World Food Programme

WFP is the food aid arm of the United Nations system, and the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger.

You can learn more about WFP by visiting them online or by joining them on Facebook.