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The AIDS epidemic that came to light in the 1980s still rages today across Africa, killing 1.4 million people and infecting another 1.9 million in 2008 alone.

The disease does not discriminate, infecting educators and corporate professionals, as well as the poor.

As a concerned documentarian, Kristen Ashburn went to Africa to address this crisis after being struck by reports of the numbers of those dying. What she found — and what she relates in her deeply moving work — are human beings who are desperate for their story to be understood by the larger world.

Through her work we come to know these people, and to see the larger implications of the disease, as it snakes through whole villages, threatening peoples' livelihoods, intensifying the effects of poverty, and threatening the economic stability of the whole region. Lack of education, awareness, and access to medical care have made the problem seem insurmountable. Through Ashburn's efforts — and possibly our own — come some glimmer of hope toward a solution.

Published: November 29, 2006


Photography, Video & Audio: Kristen Ashburn
Producers: Brian Storm, Eric Maierson, Pamela Chen
Production Assistance: Tamara Porras, Natalie Brasington

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