Activism for Global Pandemic Equity | Live from the Whitney

Sept 16, 2022

In partnership with Whitney Biennial 2022 artists Ivy Kwan Arce and Julie Tolentino, and convened by Kwan Arce and Mark Harrington of Treatment Action Group, this public program brings together an international group of HIV/AIDS activists who are also longterm survivors living with HIV to consider the constellations of people whose work has laid the foundation for transformative advances in prevention and treatment, as well as vaccine access and equity, for HIV and a range of diseases including COVID-19. Speakers include Ivy Kwan Arce, Mark Harrington, Kenly Sikwese, and Ezio Távora dos Santos Filho, with a contribution from Vuyiseka Dubula. 

This program is part of ECHO POSITION, a collaboration between Kwan Arce and Tolentino, which centers the role of women—particularly women of color—in HIV/AIDS activism. 

Ivy Kwan Arce is an AIDS survivor who has been living with HIV for three decades. As a patient of Dr. Joseph Sonnabend, who co-founded the PWA (People With AIDS) Health Group, Ivy became part of its Women’s Treatment Group and Pediatric Working Group. She was part of the grassroots of what became essential HIV/AIDS organizations such as Asian Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS (APICHA) and God’s Love We Deliver. In 2012, she recommitted to the fight to end AIDS by getting involved with Pre-Exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), specifically focusing on access for women. She is based in New York City. 

Vuyiseka Dubula is Programs Director: Community Mobilization and Accountability at Sonke Gender Justice in Cape Town, South Africa. She has been involved with Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) since 2001; has served on South African National AIDS Council (SANAC); and is a founder of the Activist Centre for Education & Development (AEDC), which facilitates access to higher education for women living with HIV and creates platforms for community activists, particularly women, to record their stories. She is based in Cape Town. 

Mark Harrington is a writer, researcher, and activist whose informed engagement in the AIDS research effort has advanced our knowledge about AIDS treatments. He is Executive Director of the Treatment Action Group (TAG), which he co-founded in 1992, and has been affiliated with a number of committees for the National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization. He previously was a member of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) (1988–92). Harrington is based in New York City. 

Ezio Távora dos Santos Filho is the Coordinator of STREAM Community Engagement, a multicentric study for MDR-TB shortened regimen run by Vital Strategies/Union with funding by the U.S. Agency for International Development (TREAT-TB). He is a specialist in community engagement in research and has worked with multiple international organizations in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other diseases. He is based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

Kenly Sikwese is the Coordinator at the African Community Advisory Board (AFROCAB) whose goal is to advocate for greater access to quality HIV treatments (drugs, diagnostics, and services) for all people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. He co-chairs the UNAIDS Treatment Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, is a member of the World Health Organization Antiretroviral treatment guidelines group (2015) and is a regular speaker at regional and international conferences on issues affecting people living with HIV. He is based in Lusaka, Zambia.