Jamaica's untold story: HIV poster girl


Brian Mahoney, Pulitzer Center

New medicine has made life easier for many living with HIV/AIDS, but stigma lingers on. Just ask Pulitzer Center grantee Kwame Dawes.

In his reporting for the Pulitzer Center, recently featured in The Washington Post's Sunday Outlook, Dawes wrote on Annesha Taylor, a young Jamaican woman who has survived with HIV for more than five years.

Taylor, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, was the poster girl of Jamaica's HIV public awareness campaign and is a testament to the new face of HIV, where anti-retroviral drugs have reduced symptoms, lengthened life spans and allowed many sufferers a semblance of normalcy.

Taylor's youthful face in the ad campaign helped disprove popular notions that the disease was an immediate death sentence. But after learning that she had become pregnant while promoting abstinence and condom use, the Jamaican government removed Taylor's face from its campaign. Kwame's Outlook piece and other Pulitzer Center-related reporting examines Annesha's struggle to overcome stigma and stereotype

in the face of HIV.

For more information on Annesha and her story, see these Pulitzer Center-related projects:

Positive Outlook- A short documentary on Annesha.

Live Hope Love- An interactive website featuring the faces and voices of those who inspired Kwame Dawes' poetry.

Hope: Living and Loving with HIV in Jamaica - Reporting homepage at the Pulitzer Center's website.