MSNBC: Enemies to Allies

In 2013, I traveled to Kenya and Kyrgyzstan to document a surprising approach to HIV prevention that relies on the unlikely bond between police officers and marginalized communities. From those trips, we created two short films.

In Kisumu, Kenya’s third largest city, police abuse of sex workers was rampant. Extortion, physical and psychological abuse were commonplace, and sex workers’ rights were violated. This resulted in sex workers not receiving essential health services and police officers contributing to the spread of HIV.

Through a novel approach, a local NGO called Keeping Alive Societies’ Hope (KASH) has fought to reverse that trend by building better relationships between these former adversaries. By offering training programs, HIV testing in the red light district, and even volleyball games, KASH hopes that it’s approach will prove more effective than promoting condom use.

ROLE: Director of Photography, Co-editor
Full Story at MSNBC.COM

In Kyrgyzstan, the police academy has included courses for more than 800 officers on harm reduction, sex work, and HIV prevention. Speakers at these trainings include health experts, sex workers, and people who use drugs. Instead of locking people up, police officers now refer people to drop-in centers or treatment clinics, or they help to facilitate the delivery of methadone to those in police custody.

A report presented by the Open Society Foundations at the 20th International AIDS Conference last week says police departments around the world—from Kenya to Kyrgyzstan—are implementing similar lifesaving programs.

Perhaps this new model will provide a road map for the rest of the world in combatting HIV.

Role: Director of Photography, Editor
Full Article at Open Society Foundations