Arts, Culture & Media

Documenting the impact of free anti-AIDS drugs

(LT, what inspired you to travel to Swaziland and do this project?) I had done a project with Doctors Without Borders a couple years before and I thought I should look at some critical issues affecting the world. I lived in a rural area on a small farm and so does Thoba and I felt quite at home with Thoba. She's such a beautiful person, casual, friendly. (TN, how long have you known that you're HIV positive?) Six years. (How long have you been a beneficiary of ARVs?) Nine months. (How have you changed since taking the ARVs?) When I first took the ARVs, I can see the difference because I am gaining weight and I'm not weak anymore. (Do you see others around you who are not as fortunate to get ARV treatment?) Yes, and I do my best to help them. Some are afraid to even take the test and I try explaining how they shouldn't be scared. (What made you take the test?) My son was sick and then he passed away, in 2003. (Do you know how your son contracted HIV?) I think it was through me maybe. (LT, which picture of Thoba do you feel is emblematic of Thoba?) Photography is not simple. Thoba looked good from the beginning. We have a classic idea of what someone with AIDS should lok like. AIDS in Swaziland is not a rare thing. (You've lost two partners to AIDS. And yet in these pictures you never look angry.) I'm not angry, but I try to consult everyone I can about the disease.

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