Stories: Medicine

  • Condom Couture and Other Ways to Fight AIDS With Art

    After 20 years of doing “condom couture,” Adriana Bertini knows she can make a dress out of old condoms in about 50 hours. But after years of carting bags packed with condom collectibles – including a wedding dress made from 80,000 sheaths – around the world, the Brazilian designer never knows how long it will take to get through the airport. ...

  • Pregnant and Diagnosed with HIV: The Group Providing Support for Mothers

    Thirteen years ago, when Babalwa Mbono was eight months pregnant with her second child, she went to her clinic in Cape Town, South Africa, to have a routine HIV test. “I went with confidence because my first child was negative and I was negative then,” she says. When the test came back positive, Mbono couldn’t...

  • Swaziland and HIV: Redrawing What It Means to Be a Man

    The 300 or so pictures of "the ideal man" drawn by boys joining a male-mentoring charity in Swaziland are almost always the same. They depict a solitary and solemn figure who appears domineering - on his land, drinking and wearing traditional dress. "I thought a man was somebody who's got a family, somebody who's got authority, power, that kind...

  • Funding Shortfall Threatens ‘Test and Treat’ for HIV and AIDS

    Global funding shortages and challenges in ensuring adherence to treatment are threatening to delay or even derail new recommendations that all HIV patients begin antiretroviral drug therapy as soon as they are diagnosed. Developments in ART over the past two decades mean HIV patients who adhere to therapy have virtually no difference in life expectancy from people who are uninfected....

  • Mozambique Myth-Busting Helpline Tries to Tackle HIV/AIDS

    In Mozambique's Gaza province, if someone makes it to their 35th birthday, "you rejoice", said Shady Zita, an English teacher in a rural secondary school. "You know what? To see someone reaching that age of 35, 36 now, it's not a joke," he said. Most of the funerals that he goes to are for people who are even younger, as...

  • Charlize Theron Calls Out Racism’s Role in the AIDS Crisis

    Charlize Theron has identified the real reason AIDS is still an epidemic, despite all the tools we have to fight the disease. At the opening ceremonies of the 2016 International AIDS Conference, the actress, who founded the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project in 2007, asked the audience why so many people are still infected with HIV each year — and...

  • Resisting Resistance: What’s Next in the Fight Against Malaria?

    It's been described as a crisis in the anti-malaria community. Resistance to ACTs (artemisinin-based combination therapies), the oft-described super drug in efforts to combat malaria, have reached a tipping point. The most deadly malaria parasite, Plasmodium Falciparum, has for years been altering its genetics in response to the drug. The resistance, first reported at the border of Thailand and...

  • Mozambican Art Exhibit Offers Stark Visual of Pediatrician Shortages

    I mentioned in my post yesterday that I would share the other exhibit at the National Museum of Art in Maputo that I most compelling. I originally included it with that post, but these images deserved their own. The second floor art installation, by artist Naguib Abdula, starkly reveals children’s limited access to...

  • Medicine Men

    Al-Hajji Mojeed thinks of himself as a reformer. After he welcomed me to the offices of his Olaiya Naturalist Hospital in Ibadan, Nigeria, he led me to a small, windowless room where a patient was shackled to a rusty engine block, recovering, as Mojeed put it, from “head surgery.” Three days earlier, Mojeed had used a razor blade...

  • Walking Through a Medical Supplies Warehouse in Zambia

    In Zambia there is one central location where over 600 medicines are stored for distribution throughout the country. I was recently in Zambia as a guest of Malaria No More and its new campaign, Power of One that ensures that with a small $1 donation a Zambian child will receive a full course of malaria treatment and...