The ArcHIVe is a podcast created by a group of young people who have grown up in the UK living with HIV, sharing their thoughts, hopes and dreams. Music, poetry and drama created by the young people for this essential podcast will explore misinformation about HIV and AIDS, stigma, managing HIV medication and how difficult it can be to talk to other people about having HIV.
HIV being kept ‘secret’ even in close relationships can take a toll on emotional wellbeing and mental health, leading to loneliness and isolation. Although the treatment and public understanding of HIV have come a long way since the 1980s, this remains an important story to tell. The current Channel 4 series It’s A Sin has brought HIV to the public’s attention again, looking at how it was perceived within British society in the 1980s. The ArcHIVe Podcast shines a light on HIV in the 2020s and the very different narrative now-a-days that many people will not be aware of.
Despite the challenges and complexities HIV can bring to young peoples’ lives, the ArcHIVe Podcast reveals that through connecting, building a community and feeling accepted young people can become empowered. These vital stories present young people living with HIV as ambitious and powerful, positive about their lives and future aspirations. They are a strong community determined to change the story of HIV.
The ArcHIVe Podcast aims to provide insight and understanding, addressing ongoing HIV-related stigma and provides updated information about HIV today. With effective medication these young people will not pass HIV on to sexual partners, women will give birth to babies who do not have HIV, and their life expectancy is unlikely to be any different from their peers who do not have HIV.
Young people were supported to take part in this project by CHIVA (The Children’s HIV Association). Turtle Key Arts led the creative development work at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith with a team of professional artists: Aga Serugo-Lugo (composer), Oliver Campbell-Smith (project director), Ryan Matthews-Robinson (poetry facilitator), Nandita Ghose (audio producer) and Simon Le Vans (audio producer). CHIVA received a grant from the Co-op Foundation to deliver this project.