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Nairobi, Kenya 2001


This is the view from Roses doorstep. Rose is 29. She came to Nairobi from the countryside two years ago. The busy footpath runs right past her six-foot by 12-foot room, for which she pays a slum landlord $10 a month. Inside it, the hidden drama of AIDS is unfolding.

In order to make a living in the city, Rose found work washing clothes for some foreigners once a week. But she did not earn enough to get by and, after failing to find other work, she eventually began to allow certain male friends to visit her and help her pay the rent each month.

After not feeling well for a while, Rose went for a blood test. A social worker and a community group were looking out for her. They are a part of a local Lutheran World Relief project.

As she feared, Rose has contracted HIV. The local group is offering some care and support. A social worker, Sophie, counsels Rose. I dont know what to say about Sophie, Rose says, because she helps me so much. The neighbors are also working to stop the virus from spreading to others.


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