The urgency to resolve the threat of COVID-19 does not mean that HIV has gone away. Even after the first cases of AIDS were reported 40 years ago, HIV and AIDS remain a serious challenge worldwide. This is why part of my ongoing work as the Coordinator of the Agape Center in the Hsinchu Diocese in Taiwan is collaborating with different parishes, ministries and organizations to raise awareness, to prevent the spread of HIV and to lessen HIV-related stigma and discrimination in different communities.
Most of these artworks I have created have featured in a charity exhibit entitled “A Glimpse of Love Unseen” organized a few years ago to raise awareness about the realities of HIV and AIDS. They were inspired by my encounters and friendships with people living with, and affected by, HIV and AIDS in Taiwan during my time working in shelters run by a non-profit organization called Harmony Home.
The images portray different moments in the lives of people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS. They are glimpses of their healing and stories of hope and second chances brought about by encounters of acceptance, compassion and love in times when they needed them most. I hope that these pieces can serve as a reminder for us to let go of our own prejudices and fears so that we can see the whole person, not just their illness. This way, we can respond to the need to end inequalities that drive AIDS and other pandemics, and be a people of hope, grounded in God’s love for all.