Listening Young People help defeat HIV/AIDS

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TREES HAVE AIDS  2007 - ongoing

New Poster designed and printed.  Celebrating Worlds AIDS Day, December 1, 2017 and addressing HIV/AIDS stigma and the opioid crisis.


John DeFaro

   Opioid Epidemic /  HIV fight now harder


To confront this stigma, I encourage us to think in terms of fostering sexual literacy, theological literacy, and justice literacy. I call on young people and those that love young people to use social media, the arts, and all tools at our disposal to get the word out, reduce stigma and discrimination that surround HIV, so we can achieve our goals in the fight.      

A C T I V I S M 

Excerpts from  ARTIST JOHN DEFARO - TREES HAVE AIDS Press Releases:

Miami-based artist John DeFaro's been raising bloody hell on the branches of Miami and New York City and waging a war against ignorance and fear. "You might as well say trees have AIDS!" DeFaro recalls thinking after a conversation with a harrowing misinformed person in early 2007: he told DeFaro that he'd never considered living in Miami because mosquitoes would surely transfer the deadly HIV virus from farm workers to him. The unsettling intersection of stigma and ignorance inspired New York-raised DeFaro, who recalled the helplessness and despair of the early days of the epidemic.

Revisiting an outdoor installation from Miami's Art Basel 2003, DeFaro put a new spin on small hand sized polyurethane foam and drinking straw sculptures called PUFFS that had commented on man's destructive tendencies toward nature -- a theme that has long informed the modern naturalist's work. 

Creating a new batch of PUFFS-like blobs in a bright and frankly viral red -- taking inspiration from the late artist Frank Moore's iconic AIDS awareness ribbon -- DeFaro is engaging in guerilla warfare against ignorance. 'Graffiti artists tag walls, " he says.

"I tag trees." The tagging has been provoking curiosity and comment on the absurdity of many of the misinformed notions that persist about HIV and AIDS -- a mosquito can no more transmit the virus than a tree can be infected.