Enhancing the health and social wellbeing of children and young people living with HIV

Art is Key

In February and April we ran our 2019 art is key project, in collaboration with Turtle Key Arts and the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith. The project is for 17-21 year olds, living with HIV and currently live in the UK or Ireland.

The project provides the opportunity for young people to explore their experiences growing up with HIV, by working with professional artists, and using music, drama, spoken word to share stories and thoughts. We will be making podcasts of the materials created from this project and plan to share them widely to create better understanding of HIV and your experiences growing up.  Participants will be invited to share the work created at the CHIVA 10th Annual support camp in 2019.

Watch the film Life Growing Up if you haven’t already - this was created from the Art is Key project we ran in 2018.

Art is Key 2018

was a youth participation project for 17-21 year olds living with HIV.The project provided participants with the opportunity to explore experiences of growing up with HIV using spoken word, storytelling, music, dance and drama. 

Alongside working on a final day performance for a closed invited audience, participants shared stories and participated in detailed individual interviews discussing their experiences of living with HIV, to form the basis of a performance based short film and theatre piece, written and produced by Danny Scheinmann and Sarah Sutcliffe. The film was then made with actors and was launched to coincide with World AIDS Day 2018. A live performance of the film script and live music score were performed at the International Aids Conference in Amsterdam in July 2018. You can find out more about the project here, and watch the film here.




In 2015, 20 HIV positive young people aged 17 and over participated in a film making process facilitated by Turtle Key Arts. The group of young people formed a production company to create their film about growing up living with HIV in the UK.


Using the expressive arts of writing, drama, music and film making, young people could share their experiences of what it is like to have grown up living with HIV in the UK. In the first session, in October 2015, participants worked alongside a professional film maker and drama facilitator to explore the subject matter in depth. There were activities to generate ideas, characters and scenarios that formed the starting point to develop into a short film.

Between October and April the group continued to work on their ideas, with input from both CHIVA and the filmmaker. After the end of the film making week at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith,  there was a sharing of the work in progress for family, friends and an invited closed audience. (All participants in the film have their identity protected.



 (Above images shows work in the recording studio, and the private film launch and screening) 

Thank you to The Coop Foundation, UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) for funding our Art is Key project - part of a strategy to address youth loneliness.