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

Learning to Speak: The New Age of HIV/AIDS in the Other Jamaica

There are two Jamaicas.

Tourists see the north coast country—its all-inclusive hotels, sunny beaches, and high-end restaurants—and a few fleeting glimpses of what most believe is the worst privation they have ever witnessed. They see half-naked children, zinc-roofed homes, hustled trinkets, and they think poverty. They think they are seeing the other Jamaica, but they are not.

Talking HIV in Jamaica

A synthesis of video, photographs, poetry and music, all inspired by Kwame's reporting in Jamaica, can be found on the Emmy award-winning interactive site: www.livehopelove.com

As featured on "Foreign Exchange with Daljit Dhaliwal." A News and Politics editor's pick on YouTube, this video began airing on March 28, 2008.

Stigma and discrimination are fueling the HIV epidemic in the Caribbean. In Jamaica, those living with HIV often face social isolation and harassment.

Positive Outlook

As featured on "Foreign Exchange with Daljit Dhaliwal." Once a poster child for living HIV+ in Jamaica, Annesha Taylor knows firsthand that life after a positive diagnosis is not an easy one. The campaigns showing that there is life after a positive diagnosis are right — HIV is not a death sentence. But strong stigma and the difficulties of juggling family life, the batteries of medication and bouts of depression have left Annesha fighting to survive.

House Call in Hell

This video takes you inside the walls of one of the worst prisons in the Western hemisphere. Overcrowding, poor sanitation, and a general lack of funding in Haiti's National Penitentiary have led to exorbitant HIV and Tuberculosis rates. Reporter Antigone Barton and videographer Stephen Sapienza take a first-hand look at these conditions and an American doctor working to correct them. After this video was taken, USAID authorized $200,000 in emergency funding for health and sanitation improvements.

Aired on Foreign Exchange November 2007.

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