Oral History of HIV in Cuba

President Obama’s visit to Cuba this week has highlighted the fading of U.S.-Cuba alienation — but also the deep and lingering differences between the two countries, on issues from freedom of speech to free health care.  Here, reporter Rebecca Sananes shares a chapter of medical history in which Cuba chose a policy diametrically opposite to America’s: Back in the 1990s, Cuba created a network of sanitariums, where people with HIV were confined indefinitely. It sounds barbaric, but as former patient Eduardo Martinez’s recollections reveal, it’s complicated. Life in the sanitariums was so much better than outside that some people purposely infected themselves with HIV.  See full story here.

Australian HIV/AIDS Crisis

As part of the 2014 International AIDS Conference, taking place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre this month, the University of Melbourne is convening an AIDS ‘Witness Seminar’, an opportunity to capture testimony from several individuals who were influential during the height of the AIDS crisis, and reflect on the critical role of government and academic institutions in determining and communicating policy at that time.  For full story click here.

African-American AIDS Activists

Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the U.S., people of color have contracted HIV at a disproportionately high rate. And in response, African-American men and women have worked hard to educate their neighbors about the disease and to alert officials to the severity of the epidemic in black communities.  "But if you look at what has been written about AIDS in America, you would think that the only AIDS activists were white, gay men," said Royles. "It's time to tell the rest of the story." For full story click here.