The STI & HIV 2023 World Congress hosted a global Art of Health Competition soliciting entries in art / graphic design and illustration that answered the question, “What does sexual health mean to you?”

Winners representing Chicago and the 5 different IUSTI geographic regions have won cash prizes and will be flown out to the STI and HIV World Congress in Chicago this July, for various workshops and to see their art exhibited.

Morgan Richardson


My embroidery celebrates sexual health, enthusiastic consent, and trauma-informed care. My work uplifts and destigmatizes reproductive health, including access to free abortion, without question. Materially, embroidery has been historically disregarded as, “women’s work.” By utilizing embroidery, I’m reclaiming and elevating female domestic labor, while honoring the dynamic history of textile art. Sexual health is affirming and inclusive, consent- based, empowering, fully informed, and promotes community care.

Mudiwa Kimberley Marasa


My goal with my artwork is the encourage society to have a positive outlook on sex and how to engage in sex in a healthy manner. My subject is nude to shock my audience to really take a look at the image and the bright colours that seem to flow around the body, symbolizing vibrant life. The flame lilies symbolize tenacity, purity, and beauty. The butterfly symbolizes the growth and new life of healthy sexual practices.

Maxim Timofeev


In the shadows of our families, there lie secrets and shame, buried deep like the roots of a tree. These secrets are like a poison, slowly infecting our minds and souls, corrupting our very being. We try to hide them away, hoping that they will never come to light, but they fester and grow until they become too much to bear.

In the Soviet Union, there was a word that captured this feeling perfectly  “shame.” It was a word that denoted both dirt and disgrace, and it was often used to describe the most intimate parts of our bodies. Sex was a taboo subject, something that was never talked about in polite society. It was a topic that was too embarrassing, too shameful, to be discussed openly.

For those of us who grew up in this environment, it was a difficult time. We were left to fend for ourselves, to try and navigate the treacherous waters of puberty and sexuality alone. When something went wrong, we were too ashamed to speak up, too afraid of being judged or ostracized. I remember when I discovered that there was something wrong with my testicle. I was terrified, but I didn’t dare tell my parents. Instead, I searched the internet for answers, and what I found was a death sentence – cancer. I was too scared to do anything about it, so I decided to wait until the pain became too much, and then I would end it all. Years went by, and I lived with the knowledge that I was slowly dying. It wasn’t until I sought medical help that I found out the truth – it was only varicocelli, a condition that could be easily treated with surgery. I was lucky, but not everyone is. This experience taught me the importance of open and honest communication. We need to be able to talk about sex and sexuality without fear or shame, to be able to ask for help when we need it. This starts with our families – our relationships with our parents and our children are the foundation of our sexual culture.

We must be willing to love and accept one another, flaws and all, without judgment or condemnation. Only then can we begin to heal the wounds of the past and move towards a brighter future. For love of neighbor truly will save the world.

Adam D N Williams


As a gay man completing a PhD which explores sexual health among men who have sex with men, sexual health has two meanings in my life, as a science, and the lived experience. Throughout my PhD I have created various artworks each year to represents my project and its progression.

I combined all my various artwork and scientific posters to show what sexual health means to me, it is important to me as an individual while my work aims to improve the sexual health and wellbeing of others. This entry presents the two meanings sexual health has in my life, which while do not always agree, both are important and support each other in my life.

Ruben Molina


The living being is sexual and must live their sexuality with joy,with passion but with respect for the dignity of the other person. Sex is the basis of a healthy life. There should be no slavery, humiliation in sex.

I believe that the best time to learn to know sex should be from childhood.

Alex Kelly


The blend of colors is meant to represent the spectrum of gender identity and presentation, from hyperfeminine to hypermasculine and everything in-between, and the idea that presentation or perception doesn’t always equal identity.

The Gold represents the beauty of trans identities and the intersections of identity and presentation.