World AIDS Day was on 1 December 2019.
This year, NHS Tayside used the day to celebrate the huge advances in HIV prevention and treatment. They focused on sharing the knowledge that those living with HIV on treatment with an undetectable viral load (the amount of HIV in their blood) cannot pass HIV on to their partners. This is known as U=U or undetectable equals untransmissible, a major breakthrough to end new HIV transmissions.
World AIDS Day aims to celebrate these incredible advancements in HIV care, however there is still one unfortunate reality; those living with HIV are still experiencing huge amounts of stigma and discrimination on a regular basis.
To help break this stigma, NHS Tayside’s Sexual Health and Blood Borne Viruses Service launched a special photography competition with the theme ‘Overcoming Stigma’, to aid in breaking down and reduce any stigma via the medium of creativity. Entries could be taken with either a camera or a smartphone.
In total, there were five winners across two categories of this competition and the National Galleries of Scotland are delighted to support what is a fantastic cause.
In the under 18s category, the First Prize was awarded to Kelseylee Milne’s photograph Brave Face (pictured below). The second prize was awarded to Casey Dillon’s Fly Away, whereas Caitlin Bell’s All Me took third. All of these winning recipients are currently partaking in Higher Photography at St Paul's RC Academy in Dundee, and their winning pictures will be submitted as part of their exams.
In the Over 18’s category, the First Prize winner was Olivia Graham’s Don’t Fight Alone, with Second Prize going to Shonagh Kelly’s Empty Bed, submitted via post on camera film. Both recipients are students of Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone in Dundee.
Some of their inspiring interpretations can be viewed in this feature.
The recipients received their prizes at NHS Tayside’s World AIDS Day Civic Reception with Dundee’s Lord Provost on 30 November. Their work was selected by a judging panel made up of Cat Jones (President of Dundee Photography Society), Neil Sneddon (a social worker within drug and rehab services and a keen photographer) and Dr Sarah Allstaff (HIV Consultant and budding amateur photographer).
The first prize in both categories was a special visit and guided tour of Scotland’s Photograph Album: The MacKinnon Collection, which reveals the highlights of a 14,000-strong photography treasure trove jointly-acquired last year by the National Galleries of Scotland and the National Libraries of Scotland, with assistance from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Scottish Government and Art Fund.
Today, Blake Milteer, Curator of The MacKinnon Collection at the National Galleries of Scotland, was delighted to host Kelseylee Milne and Olivia Graham at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, as well as the whole class of St Paul's RC Academy who joined their classmate Kelseylee for a special guided tour of the photography exhibition.
The pupils travel was funded by the National Galleries of Scotland through the William Syson Charitable Foundation.