Photo Essay

  • Ken, who lived with HIV for nearly twenty years, at a Gay Pride march in London, 1993.
  • An HIV positive young boy visits a doctor at Victor Babes Hospital in Bucharest, 1997.
  • A woman passes an AIDS clinic in in Mashhad, Iran, 1996.
  • Mr. Gilada in front of his mobile clinic during a AIDS prevention speech in Bombay, India, 2002.
  • AIDS patient Elimas Mokola looks at himself in a mirror at his home in Lusaka, Zambia in 2007. Moloka will soon undergo a 40-day treatment of antiretroviral drugs, ARVs.
  • Orphaned HIV positive children rest after lunch at the Lizo Nobanda' day care centre in Cape Town, South Africa, 2005. Here, children orphaned after the deaths of their parents from AIDS learn how to read and write, play together and eventually accept their HIV positive status.
  • Two HIV positive mothers feed their babies bottled milk in Cape Town, South Africa, 2005. Having followed a PMTCT (Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission) program, they gave birth to healthy HIV negative babies.
  • A nurse from the CESAC, Center for Treatment, Activities and Counseling for People living with HIV/AIDS, the main organization working with AIDS patients in Mali, visits a patient at home in Bamako, 2008.
  • Men and women with AIDS wait in long lines each Saturday to see the doctor at the Samuha Samranksha centre in Kustigi in Koppal District in India, ground zero for AIDS in India, 2005.
  • Tusabamu Kamuyati is tested for HIV my a mobile lab technician, Ssesnga Lodhiba, in Kilibeda, Uganda, 2008. The Ugandan NGO PREFA sends mobile teams into villages to counsel, educate and test populations for HIV and screen for malnourished children.
  • HIV tests are seen in Togo, Africa, 2010.
  • Patients and staff, wearing face masks, on a ward at Takeo hospital for people who are HIV positive and infected with TB, Cambodia, 2007.
  • Marvelyn Brown speaks to students at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, 2006. She is HIV positive and is part of the Road to Home RV tour.
  • A support program in Long Island, New York for children who are HIV positive or whose family members are HIV positive, 2006.
  • Lonnie Morris teaches inmates at San Quentin State Prison about HIV/AIDS as part of a peer education program, 2006. Lonnie is not HIV positive.
  • A woman massages her husband's legs with cream at an HIV clinic, 2012. They both have HIV but say that their health is improving.
  • The organization "Vivre dans l'esperence" fights for HIV-positive people and against the spread of AIDS in Togo, 2010. Twice a day, HIV positive children take their anti-retroviral medication.
  • Namuwanga Sarah Justine, a nurse midwife, examines the belly of an HIV positive pregnant mother, during an prenatal exam at the Kangulumira Health Center in Kangulumira, Uganda, 2008. This health clinic, offers maternity services and care for HIV positive patients in addition to other medical treatment, is run by the Ugandan NGO PREFA.
  • Alexey Smirnov is seen in Ward 3, at the AIDS Center in St. Petersburg, Russia, 2007. He contracted HIV 7-8 years ago through shared needles; diagnosed in 2001.
  • Igor Tereshenko, in Ward 3, at the AIDS Center in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2007. He contracted HIV from sharing needles to inject heroin.
  • World-renowned HIV/AIDS researcher Doctor David D. Ho, Director and CEO of The Irene Diamond AIDS Research Center in New York, visiting monkeys in the Medical Primate Center of China just outside of Kunming, China in 2007.
  • Defaced condom educational campaign sticker in Batam, Indonesia. The sticker was placed in the Immigration Hall at the ferry pier where thousands of people queue each day to enter Batam from Singapore. Batam Island is famous for its sex villages where AIDS is exploding among the thousands of underage girls.
  • Yusuf Coban (3) and his father Mehmet Coban stand in front of their house in Ulucanlar Village of Sanliurfa, Turkey. After an accident, Yusef was infected with HIV during a blood transfusion. He has to take a cocktail of five different drugs every day and travel to Ankara for treatment every three months. In his home village, people shun all contact with him for fear of catching AIDS.
  • A marathon runner who has committed her life to uplifting the children in her community through sport, on the outskirts of Cape Town in 2009. She is HIV positive and proud to be living a life of example.
  • AIDS patient Lovemore Banda, plays soccer with other children near his home in Lusaka, Zambia in 2007. Banda had recently completed a 40-day treatment of antiretroviral drugs, ARVs. The ARVs were provided through funding by the Global Fund and other foundations which give AIDS patients a new lease on life, allowing them to resume their daily activities free of the debilitating effects of the disease.
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Treating AIDS around the world

Updated

Thirty years ago this morning, Margaret Heckler, President Ronald Reagan’s Health and Human Services Secretary, rocked the world by announcing the discovery of the AIDS virus. Almost overnight, the discovery helped scientists explain how AIDS spread and how it didn’t. It enabled rich countries to secure their blood supplies and reduce hospital infections. And though science has yet to produce an effective vaccine, it has made the infection survivable.

The number of people receiving HIV treatment in low- and middle-income countries has grown 40-fold since 2002, reaching 9.7 million in 2012, and the global death toll has fallen steadily since peaking at 2.3 million 2004. Yet AIDS still causes 1.6 million needless deaths around the world each year. These images reveal the continuing impact of one of the worst plagues in human history.

For more feature photography, go to msnbc.com/photography