Rachel Corner

In 1998 Rachel Corner finished the Amsterdamse Gerrit Rietveld Academie successfully (photography).Ever since she works as a freelance documentary photographer. She works either as a commissioned photographer or initializes projects herself. Social engagement characterizes Rachels photography. 

Photo’s from her series Positive Lives are exhibited in the Grote Kerk.  

In the late 1990s, and at the height of the Aids epidemic, Zimbabwe was one of the countries worst hit. At its peak in 2000, over 30 percent of the population was HIV positive, many without access to even basic treatment. Medicins sans Frontières (MSF) successfully launched HIV programs in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC).

Today, the number of people who are HIV positive in Zimbabwe has been reduced to 15 percent. Epworth Clinic, lies on the outskirts of Harare. In 2006 a HIV program was set up there, born out of the discovery that in the settlement of Epworth a high percentage of people were affected with HIV.

Epworth settlement was founded in 2005, during the Harare City clean-up operation. Thousands of people were relocated from informal settlements in the city. Around 20,000 resettled in Epworth, a former farm, on Harare’s outskirts. In that same year, due to the growing needs in the area, MSF started providing primary health care in the settlement, together with the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC).’Today, although the number of people who are HIV positive in Zimbabwe has dropped to 15 per cent, major gaps in treatment remain. Common causes include a lack of medical staff, the high costs of treatment and the long distances people must travel to reach medical care. These are challenges that community programs, like the one at Epworth Clinic, seek to address.

CARGs groups are community based support groups. In these groups people share their experiences and give each other support. People used to be scared to openly tell they were HIV positive or even to get tested, because of stigma. The CARGs groups have been successful in battling this stigma. The groups meet once a month during which the medication gets distributed. In a rotating system a group member that is on duty will go to the health facility to collect the ARV (HIV) medication and distributes it among the members of his/her group in the community. 

 

 

Rachel Corner - FotoFestival Naarden

‘Mashiri (42, left) and Duduzile (40 right)’ 

Mashiri and Duduzile both found out that they were HIV positive in 2007. In 2015 they met attending a HIV support group, fell in love and now they are married.