AFEW is Looking for the Artists: Art-Residence in the Netherlands

The Culture Initiative is an art fund set up by AFEW International for artistic interventions preceding and during the 22nd International AIDS conference 2018 (AIDS 2018) in Amsterdam. The fund is looking for visual & performing artists from Eastern European and Central Asian Countries (Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan) to critically reflect on HIV/AIDS and its related topics (e.g. affected communities, stigma and discrimination, community health etc) and the relationship and dialogue between ‘The West and the East’ in tackling overarching global social and economic phenomena such as the HIV/AIDS crisis.

The Culture Initiative invites five artists for artist-residencies in Amsterdam in the months leading up to the conference (23-27 July 2018).

There will be three long term residencies (2-3 months) for artist to be placed outside traditional art spaces in institutes and organisations that work in the social and health sphere, such NGO’s, Health-, Research-, and Cultural Institutes. The invited artists will interact with social and health professionals, artists and art organisations in the Netherlands. The artists are asked to reflect on the relationship between the Netherlands and Eastern European and Central Asian Countries (EECA) countries in the sphere of social and public health matters. The final works will be presented at AIDS 2018.

In addition, there will be two short term residencies (1-2 weeks) during the conference period, where the artist will show their work and interact with the conference participants (approximately 18.000).

Criteria for artists or artist collectives applying

  • Contemporary visual and/or performing artists
  • Citizens or originals from any of the eligible EECA countries
  • Proven experience with social and community art projects
  • Good knowledge of (spoken) English
  • Not applicable to art-students

The participant artist or artist collective will be offered

  • Travel, visa and insurance cost
  • Accommodation and working space
  • Daily allowance (25 euro per day)
  • Production fee (depending on requirements max Euro 3.000)
  • Artist/collective honorarium (estimate per month Euro 1.000)

The artists are expected to deliver

Long-Term residents Short Term-Residents
2-3 months between May-August 2018 1-2 weeks 13-27 July 2018
Final Presentation/Exhibition at the Conference 23-27 July 2018
Engagement with conference participants and visitors
Min. 2 Artist presentations/open studios
Min. 2 Artist external presentations
Regular curator meeting and process documentation

The application will consist of the following (only in English)

  • Portfolio – Maximum 5 works/projects – 5 images/videos per project – total not exceeding 20 MB
  • Artist statement (max 200 words) and biography
  • Project ideas (max 300 words)
  • 3 names and contacts of people that could provide recommendations

Send the full application to jan_van_esch@AFEW.nl. Deadline – 5 December 2017. Only selected artist will be contacted.

Injectable Antiretroviral Drugs – a ‘Remarkable Milestone’

Long-lasting antiretroviral drugs injected monthly present a ‘remarkable milestone’ in treatment options for people living with HIV.

A long-lasting injectable antiretroviral treatment (ART) containing cabotegravir and riviliprine, administered at four- or eight-week intervals, is both as safe and effective at maintaining viral suppression as the same drug combination taken orally.

The results from the LATTE-2 study, an ongoing phase 2b clinical trial, were presented at the International AIDS Conference (IAS) on HIV Science last week in Paris, and published in the Lancet. It is the first study to investigate the safety and efficacy of a long-acting ART for HIV.

In the study, patients were brought to viral suppression with oral ART in an ‘induction phase’, and those who achieved viral suppression were randomly selected to three arms for maintenance therapy. After 96 weeks, viral suppression was maintained in 84% of patients receiving oral treatment, 87% in patients receiving the injectable contraceptive every four weeks, and by 94% in the eight-week group.

Cabotegravir is an investigational integrase inhibitor (INSTI) that has a long half-life, meaning it is active in the body for longer. It is also being considered for use in other clinical trials as a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

Rilpivirine is a second-generation non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), developed to counteract mutations associated with HIV drug resistance in this class, and is approved for use only in combination with other antiretroviral drugs.

What are the benefits of long-lasting ART?

People living with HIV can now expect to live a near-normal life expectancy, where they have access to effective antiretroviral treatment, monitoring and support. But the positive benefits of treatment can only be realised when adhered to exactly as prescribed – which for HIV, means taking treatment every day, for life.

A range of factors can influence a person’s ability to stick to a drug-taking regime, so until a vaccine or a cure is found, new treatment delivery options are needed to ensure all patients can maintain high levels of antiretroviral drug concentration in their body, thereby achieving viral suppression and reducing the risk of HIV drug resistance.

In this study, participants revealed they felt free from their illness, with lead study author Joseph Eron Jr., M.D., saying at a press conference: “It’s surprising to me – patients at our site that are on the study – how much they appreciate not having to take pills. I think that’s something that I really didn’t calculate. There’s this kind of feeling of freeness from being bound to oral therapy every day.”

Mark Boyd, MD, of the University of Adelaide and David Cooper, MBBS, of the University of New South Wales, in an accompanying Lancet commentary said that the long-acting antiretroviral was a “remarkable milestone” for HIV therapeutics – but at some point there will be a “trade-off between the convenience of not having to adhere to oral therapy and the inconvenience and discomfort associated with injectable long-acting ART. It is possible that injectable ART will be more attractive the less one must be injected.”

Some people may find taking oral medication every day more convenient than having to see a healthcare professional to be injected on a monthly basis. Boyd and Cooper continued, “This is compounded by the fact that health-care systems are generally not configured to facilitate regular, recurrent injections in a timely and convenient way to people who are well. Changing this will take innovation, political will, and time.”

Nevertheless, the authors conclude that “long-acting injectables such as the cabotegravir plus rilpivirine regimen might represent the next revolution in HIV therapy by providing an option that circumvents the burden of chronic daily dosing.”

Source: AVERT