A software engineer has shared his experience of living with HIV as part of a photography festival which he hopes will educate people about the virus.

Joshua Anderson, of Old Town, is one of 21 participants in the 'We Are Still Here' project which focuses on HIV positive people and what home means to them.

Joshua was photographed by Mareike Günscheand and was asked to describe his sense of place within wider society. The project aims to bring visibility to the HIV/AIDS community for the Bristol Photo Festival.

Joshua, 33, who has been living with HIV seven years, said: "The idea behind the project is that home can be a sanctuary for some people. It's a place where I leave the world behind on a difficult day.

"Since I was diagnosed, other things have become more complicated like dating or work.

"While these sort of projects have been done before, this exhibition is different.

"Mareike cares about you and that's really important.

"You can sometimes feel exploited by the way people use your story for their gain but this project will have a good impact.

"I just hope people start to understand the reality of living with HIV in 2021.

"There is effective medication, you can't pass it on. It's not the end of the world. All the people in the exhibition are proof of that."

Alongside the photos, people can listen to audio-recordings of the participants' stories as part of the exhibition.

Joshua volunteers as a peer supporter for Swindon Sexual Health Clinic.

He sees his diagnosis in a positive light. He has found a new community and he thinks it has cemented his existing friendships.

He said: "It was a very alienating experience at first but, when I started meeting other people, we had this shared trauma and we knew each other on deeper levels.

"One of the biggest things that I’ve got out of being HIV-positive is the sense of belonging and, in some ways, I wouldn’t change my HIV-status because it’s given me so much more in life.

""HIV did affect my closest relationships but it actually brought me closer to a lot of my friends."

The exhibition will stay at The Vestibules in Bristol until 30 October and is available on the Bristol Photo Festival website.