Julie Avril Minich is Associate Professor of English and Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, coeditor of
Unprotected Texts: Queer Latinx Expression in the Aftermath of AIDS
This chapter examines the work of artists and activists–Gil Cuadros, Jaime Cortez, Adela Vázquez, and Rafael Campo–whose work addresses the ongoing prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Latinx communities. Their work furthermore represents three decades of Latinx HIV/AIDS art: Cuadros's 1994 mixed-genre book City of God; Cortez's 2004 graphic biography Sexile, depicting the life of trans activist Vázquez; and Campo's 2013 poetry collection Alternative Medicine. Engaging with these figures in the fourth decade of the HIV/AIDS pandemic provides powerful insights for resisting the logics that present HIV/AIDS as belonging elsewhere (in a distant past or on another continent), that treat the bodies and lives of those affected as disposable, and that pathologize sexual risk-taking while failing to address structural inequities.