You are here: Home » Blogs & features » Photo features » AIDS memoirs

AIDS memoirs

This is Micah, an HIV positive woman from Kabuta village in Zambia's northern district of Nchelenge. When Micah told her parents she was HIV positive they rejected her.

Relatives refused to come inside her house and wouldn't even talk to her. It was left to her three young children to look after her when she fell ill. Now she's on antiretroviral treatment, works as a cook, and farms cassava.

Just a few years ago Micah's outlook would have been bleak - her local community was being devastated by HIV/AIDS, and lived in fear of stigma. The arrival of free antiretroviral drugs has transformed the situation.

Credit: Pep Bonet / Panos Pictures

Anthony found out he was HIV positive after his wife died in 1998.

He initially sought help from a traditional healer who claimed he could cure him in three months, but only left him with scars.

He's been on antiretrovirals since 2002 and now feels strong enough to cultivate his land.

"I'm so happy that I’m alive again," he says.

Credit: Pep Bonet / Panos Pictures

Delise discovered she was HIV positive when her husband died of an unknown illness in 1998.

She went for voluntary counselling and testing because she kept being sick, and now believes her husband died of AIDS.

She makes a living buying and selling fish from Lake Mweru, and also works with a community support group for people living with HIV.

Credit: Pep Bonet / Panos Pictures

Emmanuel is HIV positive. He lives with his mother and has relied on her support since he became ill and gave up work as a farmer.

Since 2001, he's worked as a volunteer caregiver, nursing and advising other HIV positive patients in their homes. He looks after nine patients in Kabuta village.

Credit: Pep Bonet / Panos Pictures

Ivone (on the right of this picture) lives with her mother and grandmother. She was infected with HIV after being raped by her brother-in-law when she was eight.

Now on antiretroviral drugs, Ivone goes to Kambwali Basic School where she loves maths and English and playing with her friend Maggie.

Credit: Pep Bonet / Panos Pictures

Helen Kaminsa (on the right of this picture) is not HIV positive herself but works as a traditional birth attendant.

She encourages pregnant women to go for voluntary counselling and testing, and advises HIV positive mothers not to breastfeed.

"I enjoy what I do, I want to do it," she says.

Credit: Pep Bonet / Panos Pictures

Helen Kaminsa (on the right of this picture) is not HIV positive herself but works as a traditional birth attendant.

She encourages pregnant women to go for voluntary counselling and testing, and advises HIV positive mothers not to breastfeed.

"I enjoy what I do, I want to do it," she says.

Credit: Pep Bonet / Panos Pictures

The arrival of free antiretroviral drugs has transformed the situation in Kabuta village, Zambia. Through treatment, and the extraordinary strength and courage of individuals, this community has rediscovered hope.

Comments are closed.

Panos London

Posted by

03/22/2008

Tags

Countries:

Regions:

Issues: , , , , ,

Downloads

Michah talks about life with HIV

Anthony talks about his memories

Delise discusses her life

Emmanuel discusses living with HIV

Ivone talks about life with HIV

Helen's memories of her life

Davies talks about his experience with HIV

Related links

We can be proud of what we’ve achieved

The story of an HIV widow

Making pregnancy safer in Mali