World Aids Day: The making of the #LifeBeyondHIV mural in Khayelitsha

Activists, artists, and survivors come together to create a #LifeBeyondHIV mural in Khayelitsha.

To mark World Aids Day, 1 December 2015, a group of local artists worked closely with HIV-positive people and advocates in Khayelitsha, Cape Town to create two giant murals on the side of OR Tambo Hall. The paintings send a message that there is life beyond HIV. It encourages those affected to keep living while also urging the youth to engage in safe sex.

Local Khayelitsha artists Velile Soha and Patrick Holo worked closely with HIV activists Tembisa Mbhobho and Welcome Makele and MSF counsellors to bring their vision to life. 

Khayelitsha hip-hop artist and producer P'zho @mrpzho was commissioned to create a song that resembles the courage of those living with HIV, and to encourage those who are not infected to stay safe.

P'zho says: “I wanted to write a catchy song that was encouraging… these people inspire their communities because of their bravery in living openly with HIV every day.”

“Yes, you are HIV positive, but that doesn’t mean it is a death sentence. And if you’re not HIV positive, there’s no way you can miss out on knowing.”

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are more than 36 million people living with the disease worldwide. The Western Cape Health Department is expected to launch a new strategy in line with WHO's goal of an AIDS-free generation by 2030.