Issue

Global Health: Outbreaks and Epidemics

Some agents, like the Ebola virus, ravage nations without warning or mercy. They capture the world’s attention—and aid. We can’t look away.

Other agents creep quietly from host to host, devastating communities for decades: One third of the world’s population is infected with tuberculosis, but its latency allows drug-resistant strains to rise.

Outbreaks and Epidemics digs into both types of communicable illness—the sudden and the ceaseless. It explores cholera’s sweep through Haiti following the earthquake, and how the lack of water and sanitation infrastructure turned a treatable illness into a second (third, and fourth) round of devastation. This gateway also exposes the economic grip malaria still holds on African countries, still prone to epidemics of bedridden students and workers.

Pulitzer Center journalists trace HIV/AIDS from its origin to its current status, unearthing clues to developing a successful vaccine. They investigate the epidemic of stigma, examining how religion and culture contribute to homophobia and the spread of the virus.

By telling the stories of patients, caregivers, and scientists, our reporters are drawing outbreak comparisons and providing lessons for prevention. They are also taking on the challenge of communicating technical information to the lay ear, and ultimately filling the gap between the scientific and public understanding of germs.

Global Health: Outbreaks and Epidemics

A Deadly Cycle

Jamaica's hard-to-reach and embattled gay community has been ignored by the government's public health program for the last 25 years. Last year, a study revealed that nearly one-third of gay men in Jamaica may be infected with the virus that causes AIDS, but the island's public health response remains paralyzed by homophobia as the epidemic continues its uncontrolled spread through Jamaican society.

A Deadly Cycle

Jamaica's hard-to-reach and embattled gay community has been ignored by the government's public health program for the last 25 years. Last year, a study revealed that nearly one-third of gay men in Jamaica may be infected with the virus that causes AIDS, but the island's public health response remains paralyzed by homophobia as the epidemic continues its uncontrolled spread through Jamaican society.

"Grand: The Piece Makes a Wonderful Whole," Wisteria and HOPE Review in the Winston-Salem Journal

Poet Kwame Dawes provided the words for HOPE & Wisteria, two back-to-back performance pieces that explore different aspects of the black experience. But his contribution, vital as it is, is only one part of the puzzle. Each production is a multimedia piece using music, images and Dawes' poetry.

The musicians and singers, performing alongside Dawes on stage, contribute immensely to the power of the production, as do the photographers whose work is projected on a large screen behind the performers.

HIV/AIDS in Jamaica: A Poet Responds

In an interview on The Root, poet Kwame Dawes discusses his role and shares his experience in creating the multimedia project "Hope: Living and Loving with HIV in Jamaica," commissioned by the Pulitzer Center to document the human face of HIV in Jamaica, the country of Kwame's youth.

Learn more about the Emmy-winning LiveHopeLove.com

Wisteria & HOPE featured in YES! Weekly

Although it's called the Black Theatre Festival, this biennial gathering of African-American artists draws creative people from all over the nation working in a variety of mediums. Kwame Dawes, the poet in residence at the University of South Carolina, will present his multimedia productions titled Wisteria and Hope during the festival. [For complete performance listings, see page 20.] Wisteria and Hope are two separate pieces performed back to back.