Archive for the ‘HIV / AIDS’ Category

Cameras for Asia: India part 2

The Cameras for Asia program recently visited India, taking the program to three different centres around the country. Three posts will be published in the coming days on all three centres.

Read part 1 here.
Read part 3 here (link will become active when the post is published).

Mallika, Hyderabad (India)

Women's photography group at the markets. Don't be fooled by the serious expressions - they had the time of their lives.

Women’s photography group at the markets. Don’t be fooled by the serious expressions – they had the time of their lives as they had never been on an excursion before in their lives.

Mallika is a sewing cooperative in Hyderabad and run by Nireekshena, a clinic that provides medication, counselling and other services to those that are HIV positive. The women at Mallika are either HIV+ or someone in their family is. Many have children, struggle financially to make ends meet and may suffer the side effects of medication. They had little or no experience with cameras and lacked confidence going out in public taking photographs, but over the course of the week their skills and confidence grew in spades and their joy at discovering new talents was infectious and wonderful to behold. Six cameras were donated to Mallika. Read more

In pictures: World Health Day

Today is World Health Day and a reminder that not all the world enjoys the same level of health care, standard of living, access to clean water and sanitation that we do in the developed world.

Here are some projects I’ve come across during my travels that are making a difference to people’s health, and by doing so their well being, economic and social standing.


This poor baby was HIV positive, along with the mother, and staff at the clinic in Hyderabad, India were not sure how long it would live. They asked me to take a photograph of her. The HIV clinic distributed free antiretroviral drugs and also provided free medical checkups and counselling. In India HIV carries quite a stigma and many patients are afraid to tell family, friends or colleagues for fear of being ostracised. What emerged from our discussions with a lot of the patients was their ignorance about how HIV is contracted. Many of the women had got it from their husbands.


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Remembering Nelson Mandela with 10 quotes and pictures

This week I have been reflecting on the life of Nelson Mandela in preparation for an article heralding his legacy for Gale. I came across these quotes that are worth reflecting on, even if you’ve read them before. RIP Nelson Mandela.

mandela head

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Cameras for Asia: India part 1

Visited Planet has taken Cameras for Asia to India this month. Thanks to a generous donation from St Aidan’s school in Brisbane 10 cameras were donated for this trip and will be left in a variety of centres in south and north India.

The first Visited Planet workshop took place in central Hyderabad at a HIV clinic where patients come to receive free medical treatment and counselling from an array of committed volunteers.

I was privileged to sit in on some interviews with the patients and learn of their struggles. Many of these stories were heartbreaking, particularly for women who contracted the virus from their husbands.

There is a huge stigma attached to those who are HIV positive and many are shunned by their families, friends and communities making life a challenge both socially and economically. Most of this comes from a misconception that HIV can be passed simply through touch or sharing a cup or plate.

Workshops were held both with the doctors who treat the patients, the volunteer counseling staff and the children of some of the patients. These boys were particularly a delight to interact with and truly seemed to enjoy the lessons.

Unfortunately weather in Hyderabad was wet and not conducive to a lot of exploration out on the streets. However here’s a selection of their best shots.

A patient is taken home after his consultation.

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Photo gallery: Celebrating life – Saturdays with Rudy

I read “Tuesdays with Morrie” some time ago about a former student visiting his professor who was dying from Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS).

For the last six months I’ve been visiting a friend in hospital dying from AIDS on Saturdays after lunch. It became a routine: bike ride, market, Rudy. There is little that is honourable, decent or dignifying about AIDS and watching the slow deterioration in this friend has been agonising.

Like in the story, I enjoyed immensely the time we had together, even though Rudy was no philosophiser on life. His face would light up when he saw me, he’d whinge and complain about family members to me in confidence and we’d go downstairs in his wheelchair so he could smoke away to his heart’s content. Yes I took him – why should he have been denied a few simple joys in his last months? A nip of Baileys and a good dose of chocolate were our other great shared joys. Read more

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Empower, Equip, Educate

Visited Planet's documentary and lifestyle photographic projects are designed to aid, equip, empower and educate people around the world.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter - Martin Luther King Jr.