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Students of the Adult Migrant English Program Youth Group at TAFE Illawarra have been involved in a photographic exhibition to mark World AIDS Day 2016.
The students, who represent a diverse group of cultural backgrounds and experiences, worked closely with local artist Nina Kourea (pictured below right) to create a photographic exhibition that explores different interpretations and responses to HIV/AIDS, culturally, socially and historically.
The objective of the exhibition was to empower young multicultural people with knowledge of HIV/AIDS. This was so that they could make more informed decisions around their own sexual health, as well as helping to destigmatize the disease.
"This year I encouraged the students to explore street art," Ms Kourea told the Illawarra Mercury.
It's been 35 years since the very first reported cases of the virus. Initially it was known as GRID (Gay Related Immune Deficiency), before the more appropriate and accurate AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). It's estimated by UNAIDS that more than 78 million people have become infected with HIV since the epidemic began in 1981, with an estimated 35 million deaths.The photographic exhibition will be on public display at Wollongong Youth Services, 85 Burelli Street, Wollongong until 14 December.