A vast number of visitors crashed Carla Bruni-Sarkozys website within minutes of its launch on Monday,but in the global excitement,what was missed in India is a beautiful connection made in it with a group of families in the coastal Andhra Pradesh city of Guntur.
Featured on http://www.carlabrunisarkozy.org,in an 8-minute photo essay,are stories of five families coping with the massive difficulties and experiencing the small joys of living with HIV in Guntur. The photo essay is part of the international anti-disease partnership Global Funds Access to Life Campaign,in which eight photographers from the celebrated photo cooperative Magnum have portrayed the lives of people in nine countries before and four months after they began antiretroviral (ARV) treatment.
The French First Lady is Global Funds Ambassador for Protection of Mothers and Children Against AIDS. The essays document the personal journeys of the patients and their families,and tracks the changes brought by their access to treatment. India and Vietnam are the two countries in Asia to be featured on the site. The Guntur essay,done by the 56-year-old American writer and photo chronicler Jim Goldberg,focuses on the Freedom Foundations Guntur facility.
We are very happy that our work has received this platform (Brunis website), said Sarah Ramya,Project Officer for the Andhra chapter of the Indian Network of Positive Persons (INP+),the civic society movement bringing together HIV+ people. Our aim is to tell people that quality of life can be improved with access to drugs. The key message that needs to go out is that life can be prolonged. We need to bring as many people as we can under the local health facilities by improving access to ARV drugs.
Under the Global Fund project,INP+ works in six high-burden Indian states to track down ARV defaulters and encourage them to stay with the treatment. In many cases,the patients give up hope. But when they see even a little improvement,they start living again. This is the reason all positive patients need to have access to treatment, said Ramesh Babu of the Telugu Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS (TNP+).