Strip AIDS 2020 is a series of new comics addressing contemporary aspects of the ongoing HIV pandemic, commissioned by Visual AIDS and curated by Paul Sammut.
Originally published online in 2020, these four comics were published as printed mini-comics in summer 2021 as part of the exhibition Comic Velocity: HIV and Comics. They were available as free takeaways at the exhibition, and are now available online for the cost of shipping and handling (maximum two sets per customer).
As a visual and accessible medium, comics have long been used as educational tools in the fight against HIV and AIDS, providing life saving information about safer sex practices and representing communities and perspectives often erased from public health narratives.
These four new commissions aim to continue this legacy of using comics to bring attention to the AIDS pandemic and to work against stigma by sharing the experiences of people living with HIV.
Just a Pill? by J. Amaro and A. Andrews explores what it means to be "living well" with HIV.
Paco by Carlo Quispe addresses the fear surrounding HIV testing in the gay community.
Strutting to Stop Stigma by Mel Rattue tells the story of Catwalk4Power, a UK-based anti-stigma project led by women living with HIV.
Legalize Positivity by Inés Ixierda and Clio Sady discusses the injustice of HIV criminalization in the United States.
Hear the artists discuss their comics with fellow AIDS activists on the Strip AIDS 2020 podcast, hosted by Alexandro Segade.
Episode 1: Just a Pill? | J. Amaro and A. Andrews with Johnny Guaylupo.
Episode 2: Legalize Positivity | Inés Ixierda and Clio Sady with Robert Suttle.
Episode 3: Paco | Carlo Quispe and Joey Terrill.
Episode 4: Strutting to Stop Stigma | Mel Rattue and Rae Lewis-Thornton.
Strip AIDS 2020 takes its title from a comics anthology produced in 1987 by Don Melia and Lionel Gracey-Whitman. The original Strip AIDS gathered together a broad cross-section of both the underground and mainstream comics communities, all of whom donated new and existing strips about HIV/AIDS in a show of solidarity and support, and to raise funds for London Lighthouse, an innovative care center and hospice for people with HIV and AIDS in London, UK. The anthology inspired a US version published in 1988, titled Strip AIDS USA, edited by Trina Robbins, Bill Sienkiewicz and Robert Triptow.