‘ANTIRETROVIRALS’ by Rafael Díaz
With 34 million people infected and over 25 million dead since the first recorded case back in 1981, AIDS continues to be one of Mankind’s biggest plights with no definitive end in sight. While the so-called ‘First World’ has managed to provide effective treatments to stop the devastating effects of the virus, allowing the HIV-positive to lead a relatively normal life, AIDS continues to plague struggling countries with limited or no resources to fight its deadly spread, where thousands of people’s infection everyday equals as many premature death sentences.
‘Antiretrovirals’ poses a reflection about the limited accessibility of AIDS drugs, particularly in developing countries, and the devastating consequences for those who are denied treatment. In some photos, a wealth of drugs are presented almost within hand’s reach of the viewer, while in others they are presented as precious luxury items behind an impenetrable glass, afforded only to a lucky few. We are looking at two sides of the same coin, the perverse duality we find in the first and the third worlds: living with AIDS vs. dying of AIDS, quality of life vs. suffering, dignity vs. indignity, hope vs. doom.