A NewsHour poetry segment on poet and writer Kwame Dawes aired on Tuesday October, 7 on PBS. Kwame is a Pulitzer Center grantee whose work with the Pulitzer Center culminated in the project HOPE: Living and Loving with HIV in Jamaica and the interactive site www.livehopelove.com. Kwame recently read at Busboys and Poets in Washington D.C. with a NewsHour crew on hand.
HOPE: Living and Loving with HIV in Jamaica
"It's about soul. It's about humanity. It's about beauty, and beauty can be ugly. But it's still beauty." - Kwame Dawes
Poet, writer, and Pulitzer Center grantee Kwame Dawes read from his forthcoming book of poetry and discussed the experiences that inspired his work early Monday evening at Busboys and Poets.
Dawes' work, "Hope", is an assemblage of poems he wrote while exploring and reporting on the parts of Jamaica hit hardest by HIV and AIDS for the Pulitzer Center last winter and spring.
Early last year, Annesha Taylor's face was plastered on billboards across Jamaica. She was living with HIV, taking her medication, eating well and, above all, "getting on with life."
In a society like Jamaica, any talk about HIV/AIDS is going to be about secrets, about taboos, and about the private lives of people.
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.
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.
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.
It was 1982 when Dr. Jean Malecki examined a dying 9-month-old baby and made the first pediatric AIDS diagnosis in Palm Beach County.
The parents, who had arrived recently from the Caribbean, were sick, too.
"Within six months, the child had died," Malecki said. "The whole family got wiped out by the disease."
Malecki states this flatly because in the past 25 years, the Palm Beach County health director says, she has seen that flinching from the truth accomplishes nothing.
Australia's needle exchange program aims to prevent injecting drug users from sharing dirty needles.