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COMPULSIVE PRACTICE: Southern AIDS Living Quilt

“I wasn’t told I had HIV, what she told me was ‘You have AIDS and you are going to die.’ I knew nothing about HIV. As a matter of fact, I thought I was the first woman in America with this disease. I didn’t even know that other women had it, because nobody was saying anything. And I vowed at that moment that there would not be another woman who would get her diagnosis and not know another woman who was positive. That if I had to be that face, I would be that face. I do it to put a face to this disease. That way, everybody will know that it looks just like them, or somebody they know.”
– Gina, Southern AIDS Living Quilt, 2008

The Southern AIDS Living Quilt is a project that illustrates the growing impact of HIV on women in the southern U.S., particularly women of color. Using video testimonials, the Southern AIDS Living Quilt shares the personal stories of women living with HIV, their families and health care providers throughout the region. The stories underscore the critical importance of making HIV screening a routine part of medical care in order to ensure earlier diagnosis and prevent the spread of the disease. Over 100 women are represented on the Southern AIDS Living Quilt from 13 southern states, viewable on YouTube.

Southern AIDS Living Quilt, featuring Gina, 2008
Southern AIDS Living Quilt, featuring Thomascene, 2009
Southern AIDS Living Quilt, featuring Vivian, 2008
Southern AIDS Living Quilt, featuring Mildred, 2000
Southern AIDS Living Quilt, featuring Sigga, 2009
Southern AIDS Living Quilt, featuring Tania, 2008
Southern AIDS Living Quilt, featuring Vonda Lee, 2009


COMPULSIVE PRACTICE is a video compilation of compulsive, daily, and habitual practices by nine artists and activists who live with their cameras as one way to manage, reflect upon, and change how they are deeply affected by HIV/AIDS.

Featuring Juanita Mohammed, Ray Navarro (1964–1990), Nelson Sullivan (1948–1989), the Southern AIDS Living Quilt, James Wentzy, Carol Leigh aka Scarlot Harlot, Luna Luis Ortiz, Mark S. King, and Justin B. Terry-Smith.

Curated by Jean Carlomusto, Alexandra Juhasz, and Hugh Ryan for Visual AIDS.