PrEP Aware Week

PrEP Aware Week

In 2012, the first PrEP medication was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Over the last 10 years more than 70,000 New Yorkers have made the decision to use PrEP to prevent HIV. The theme for this year's PrEP Aware Week Portraits of PrEP celebrates their stories and here at Housing Works we are all about celebrating the members of our amazing community!

For this reason we are thrilled to feature photographer Francesco Di Benedetto’s project And so it happened, which includes and portraits and interviews of people living with HIV as well as folks who are taking PrEP.

“This project highlights stories of people living with HIV and people on PrEP, because openness is key to tolerance and no one should have to hide — whatever their status. The main goal is to give visibility to these stories, in the belief that speaking openly about these issues and sharing real-life experiences can effectively help keep the discussion alive and fight the deeply-rooted stigma that surrounds these topics,” Francesco says.

He prefers photographing his subjects at their homes or other locations important to them. The accompanying text is adapted from questionnaires. Since October 2017, about 120 people have posed and told their stories in New York, San Francisco, and other cities.

Originally from Italy, Francesco moved to New York City in 2012. During a trip to Rome, while telling friends and family about his PrEP regimen, he learned that many people couldn’t access the med and that lots of folks disregard U=U (the fact that undetectable HIV is sexually untransmittable). When a friend with the virus relayed that life with HIV in Italy is still hard, Francesco realized that “living in New York City had put me in sort of a bubble.”

In the spirit of “doing what’s in your power to build a better society,” he launched And so it happened. The title, he says, “looks at the fact that something happened as a starting point for a broader and more articulate discussion. What happens next?”

The results are at once intimate, inspiring, and educational and are posted on his website,, and on Instagram under @andsoithappened.theproject

Our Mission

Housing Works is a healing community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Our mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain our efforts.

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