Views & Reviews Review

Closing the HIV circle

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 09 February 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c163
  1. Joanna Busza, senior lecturer in sexual and reproductive health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  1. Joanna.Busza{at}

    How have HIV positive teachers in Kenya dealt with their status? Joanna Busza saw a film at an event that linked Africa’s epidemic with the experience of the UK black and Caribbean communities

    Courage and Hope is an hour long film about four HIV positive teachers in Kenya who confront the daily reality of misunderstanding, stigma, and discrimination that continue to accompany the HIV epidemic. Produced by the Partnership for Child Development at Imperial College London and the World Bank, the film takes a narrative approach, allowing the teachers to tell their own stories of how the diagnosis has affected their personal and professional lives. Their accounts of how their colleagues reacted are particularly poignant.

    Although stigma and discrimination related to HIV have long been identified as persistent barriers to mitigating the impact of the disease, there was nevertheless something especially troubling in the fear and hostility expressed by the four teachers’ colleagues, given that teachers are among the most educated and prominent members of the community. One HIV positive teacher described how crockery started to “disappear” from the tea room as colleagues hoarded them in their own classrooms to avoid sharing them …

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