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Three Queer Artists Challenging the Stigma Around HIV, Sexual Health, and Gender Identity.

November 11, 2022
4 min
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Getting an HIV diagnosis can often be a difficult and challenging experience. Even moreso by communities that face intersectional discrimination due to their racial/ethnic background or gender identity. Public health initiatives often focus on statistics but often fail to represent the lived experiences of those who cannot be reduced to numbers and data points. One of the most effective tools for self-expression is the medium of visual art.


STAGES, developed by Emory University and SisterLove's ERASE HIV Cure Research initiative, is an arts-and-culture-based initiative dedicated to presenting artistry and education in service of sexual health, gender identity, and reproductive justice. The first event, held on November 13th in Atlanta, GA, will feature the work of three queer and indigenous LatinX artists from Bogota, Colombia. Curated by visual artist and designer Katy Beltran, who recently designed the art for SisterLove's Healthy Love Bus mobile health unit, these dynamic artists are using art to confront the ideas and stereotypes around LGBTQIA+ identity, HIV-positive status, and reproductive, health, rights, and justice.

Camo Aguilera

Camo Aguilera is a Bogota, Colombia-based, queer-identifying Latinx artist who focuses on the lived experience of Black and Indigenous women who live with HIV. His rich photography features these women with dignity and color, and uplifts their ancestral culture to show all it's beauty and strength. Learn more about Camo Aguilera.


Felipe is a multidisciplinary artist based in Bogotá, Colombia. His stunning work includes painting, photography, video, and digital media. He is the co-founder of Infamia Colectivo, a group of young artists with an interest in new media and the impact it has on the generation born in the nineties. His work focuses on his personal history, going from his conception by assisted reproductive technology, to questions about the human condition from his own experiences. Felipe addresses subjects such as human desire, death, the origin of life, the way we inhabit and transform the world, the desire of man to transcend, to create new technologies to satisfice created needs, to reproduce, to improve the race, to consume, to presume. Learn more about Felipe.


Katy is SisterLove's visual and web designer. A Master's in Fine Arts graduate of the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design, her work focuses on exploring queer identity, the psychological and cultural affects of patriarchy on the collective psyche, and the power of art to give voice to the overlooked and unheard. Based in Atlanta, she uses a mixture of collage and darkroom photography to challenge perceptions of sexuality, gender, and social norms. She also created a nonprofit, the New Memory Museum, which used art education as a cultural intervention in low-income, at-risk communities. Learn more about Katy.

STAGES Community Art Showcase

If you're in the Atlanta area, see more of their work at our STAGES Community Art Showcase event on Sunday, November 13th at black-owned business Atlantucky Brewing at 12pm. Art Can Heal - 3 Artists Living With HIV Who Use Creativity to Empower SisterLove Hosts Delegation of Women Activists from Colombia Atlanta Has One of the Highest HIV Infection Rates in the World. Here's Why.

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