SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Hope For The World Cure mural was defaced on December 27, 2021. The Mural pays tribute to the lives lost during the AIDS epidemic years ago. 

About 50 percent of the mural was found defaced with black letters and repairs are estimated at $50,000. According to reports, this is not the first time this has happened and the cost of repairs this time are the most severe. 

The mural is located on 16th and Market which is home to many homeless encampments and is known for its high crime.  

In 2016, Hoodline received an anonymous tip that The Castro District had plans to paint over the mural. Many community members feel that the mural should be protected and preserved. Currently, there are no plans to paint over the mural.

The mural was created over 20 years ago and many of the artists who contributed to the piece have passed away. Artists who were associated with Art From The Heart Heals contributed to the mural alongside Precita Eyes Muralists. A number of the artists were suffering from AIDS during the time they created the mural back in 1998.

In an interview with Hoodline, contributing artists described the mural’s features. One of the artists, Hazel Betsey said, “The mural can be read from right to left, beginning with an elaborate explosion of colors. This torrent of colors represents the chaos created by the disease.”

The images to the left are said to represent the AIDS virus itself and in this area of the mural Andy Arzate described, “a figure holding the world, urging us to ‘Be there for the World Cure’.” 

Arzate’s colleague, Jose Escalante continued, “This blends into tear drops, indicating the many tears that have been shed.”

Escalante and Clif Cox continue by saying that, “the teardrops become larger and filled with medication, until they ultimately splash into the cocktail glass of a bedridden patient below receiving an IV, in a potent symbol of the cocktail of medications taken daily by those infected.”

The Hope For The World Cure mural was originally funded by the San Francisco Arts Commission.