Blood Works: The Sanguineous Art of Robert Sherer
BY Christopher Harrity
December 01 2012 5:00 AM ET
18" x 19" oval
Sherer: Christian martyrs purportedly developed bodily markings (stigmata) corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Christ. Stigmata can also mean any identifying marks of shame or discredit or diagnostic signs of a disease. The stigma of being HIV+ and the subsequent discrimination frequently creates an unusual sort of martyrdom. Several of my friends with AIDS have spoken of themselves as “fallen comrades on the battlefield of love.” The stigma of being HIV− can also create an unusual sort of martyrdom. As a direct result of my own survivor’s guilt for not being infected while my friends died around me, I developed sympathetic symptoms of the disease for many years.