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Research in Action Award

Ivy Kwan Arce is the mother of two sons, 21-year-old Atom and 17-year-old Ahimsa, both born HIV-negative because Ivy was on HIV medication during her pregnancies to prevent mother-to-child transmission. As a first-generation Chinese American straight woman, she embodies the fact that HIV affects all communities. She is an AIDS survivor who has been living with HIV for three decades. Diagnosed in 1990, she ended up in ACT UP. As a patient of Dr. Joseph Sonnabend, who co-founded the PWA (People With AIDS) Health Group, Ivy became part of its Women’s Treatment Group and Pediatric Working Group, where they mobilized women with AIDS to demand access to medication and clinical trials. She was part of the grassroots of what became essential HIV/AIDS organizations such as Asian Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS (APICHA) and God’s Love We Deliver.

Ivy has a degree from Art Center College of Design and has designed campaign materials for all the HIV/AIDS organizations of which she has been a part. From 1995 until 1999, she was a voting member of the HIV and AIDS Planning Council as an independent affected HIV positive person. Her role was to manage the distribution of the Ryan White Title I funds, which provided critical services to HIV/AIDS patients.

In 2012, she recommitted to the fight to end AIDS by getting involved with Pre-Exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), specifically focusing on access for women. In 2019, The Performance Space of New York honored her for three decades of activism. Her ongoing commitment to ending HIV/AIDS remains rooted in the devastating losses of the early days of the epidemic.

two photos of Ivy Kwan Arce, sepia and black and white, with an AAPI woman looking straight at the camera

Ivy Kwan Arce in 2003, living through HIV-related wasting and a recent photo taken August 6, 2021.

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