HiV

Vasilios Papapitsios on Living with HIV and Healing Through Art by Jahan Sharif

Vasilios Papapitsios

Vasilios Papapitsios

I met Vasilios Papapitsios last year at a mutual friend’s birthday dinner. We were perched on the roof of a restaurant in downtown Los Angeles, and Vas was telling me the story of the pool party he went to the day before, which then turned into a nighttime jacuzzi party, and ended with him staying at the host’s (whom he didn’t know until that day) house the whole next day. He came to dinner in his swim trunks and a tank top.

I liked him immediately and we became friends.

Vas is a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles who uses his experience living with HIV to inform his art and bring awareness around HIV to a conversational level. His work wrestles with the challenge of transmuting fear into love.

He seroconverted during the summer of 2010 and lived for almost five years before seeking treatment. When he arrived at the Duke University Medical Center, he had full blown AIDS and was facing death. Fortunately, he survived, and today he’s using his voice to chip away at the stigma around HIV and reminding all us to #transmitlove.

You can find Vas online at https://www.vasiliospapapitsios.com/

On Instagram:

Los Angeles, CA, USA
April 2019

“In 2014 I embroidered these jocks and underwear I’d lived in since seroconversion summer of 2010. I embroidered in the hate I had stitch by stitch, weaving my first alchemical spell to transform my physical garments, which were in many ways a symbol of my pain and my fear, into the first spell for hope I could begin to muster while knocking on deaths door. I had accepted death. But I realized I could still choose to live despite it being a harder path. So I wove these words and sent a message into the universe that I had made an intention to fight and a dream to heal. These 5 garments were the first step in healing my heart, my mind, my spirit and my physical body. I began baby stepping my self away from fear based consciousness and into love.” -Vas via Facebook

“In 2014 I embroidered these jocks and underwear I’d lived in since seroconversion summer of 2010. I embroidered in the hate I had stitch by stitch, weaving my first alchemical spell to transform my physical garments, which were in many ways a symbol of my pain and my fear, into the first spell for hope I could begin to muster while knocking on deaths door. I had accepted death. But I realized I could still choose to live despite it being a harder path. So I wove these words and sent a message into the universe that I had made an intention to fight and a dream to heal. These 5 garments were the first step in healing my heart, my mind, my spirit and my physical body. I began baby stepping my self away from fear based consciousness and into love.” -Vas via Facebook

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