We are under pressure. Our viral loads are overloaded. The response to AIDS is becoming destabilized. We are faltering, becoming complacent, giving up and giving in. The law is creeping further and further in. Our bodies are over-medicalized. And our lives are under-supported. We are not the public that ‘Public Health’ cares about.
— PosterVirus

Recent publication on project:

Alexander McClelland & Jessica Whitbread. (2016). PosterVirus: Claiming sexual autonomy for people with HIV through collective action. Editors: Michael Orsini & Christine Kelly, Mobilizing Metaphor: Art, Culture and Disability Activism in Canada. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press. 

PosterVirus is a ongoing community-based activist street and online art initiative and affinity group of Toronto's AIDS ACTION NOW! The curatorial project was developed collaboratively between Alexander McClelland and Jessica Whitbread to expand the limits imposed on how we can talk about AIDS. The posters have been shown across North America in a range of exhibits and on the streets or various cities.

"We are tired of individualized responses that ignore the realities and complexities of our lives. We are tired of being defined through acronyms. We are tired of the buzzwords, language that privileges groups over others and the increased divide between us and them. The bureaucratization of AIDS that has silenced and marginalized voices that complicate for too long. With this project we are calling for a return to dialogue and complexity. We are moving away from one-way social marketing AIDS campaigns. We are critiquing Public Health messages that individuate people and divorces them from the harmful impacts of institutions and the state. This is why these works were developed as a dialogue between activists and artists, and this is why we encourage these works to help promote community dialogues. We continue the tradition of claiming space for those of us who are most impacted by the epidemic. We hope that these works provoke, critique and encourage new ways of conceptualizing and talking about AIDS. The AIDS experience is spoken through many voices. As a diverse community, we have always been able to take care of each other. We need to remember where we came from. We need to continue to self-organize."

- PosterVirus collective statement 2012

Poster Artists & Collaborators


Jessica Karuhanga, Shan Kelley, FASTWÜRMS, Brendan Fernandes & Kia LaBeija.


Ted Kerr & Christopher Jones, Vincent Chevalier & Ian Bradley-Perrin, Scott Treleaven, Natalie Wood, JJ Levine & Alexis Mitchell.


Micah Lexier, Onya Hogan-Finlay with Morgan Page, Neal Freeland with Giselle Dias, Marcus Ware with Zoë Dodd & Tim McCaskell, Jordan Arseneault, Ryan Conrad, & Jessica MacCormack.


Allyson Mitchell with Jessica Whitbread, Kent Monkman, John Greyson with Zoë Dodd, Daryl Vocat, Cecilia Berkovic, & Mikiki with Scott Donald