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Friday, April 18, 2008

Photo exhibit illustrates effort behind battle against HIV/AIDS in Kenya

Staff writer

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), a French organization also known as Doctors Without Borders, open a photo exhibition this weekend showing how HIV/AIDS patients in Kenya, and the medical professionals who care for them, cling to hope in desperate circumstances.

The exhibition, titled "Tumaini (HOPE) Inochio Tsunagu" will be held in Tokyo from April 19. "Tumaini" means "hope" in Swahili and inochio tsunagu means "connecting life" in Japanese. In the exhibition, 78 pictures of MSF activities to combat HIV/AIDS in Kenya will be displayed. German photographer Matthias Steinbach took the photos in 2006 and 2007.

MSF, an international nonprofit medical-humanitarian organization, started its HIV/AIDS treatment program in Kenya in 1996, at a hospital in Homa Bay in western Kenya, one of the worst-affected areas in the country.

MSF continues to provide a free, comprehensive package of care, including diagnostic testing and counseling, treatment and prevention of opportunistic infections. More than 9,000 patients receive care in Homa Bay, and one out of five is under age 15.

MSF is also providing the comprehensive package of care in Mathare slum in Nairobi, another epidemic area.

The photo exhibition will be held until June 1 on the second floor of Omote-sando GYRE, a three-minute walk from exit A1 of Omote-sando Station on the Ginza and Hanzomon subway lines. Admission is free.

On Saturday and Sunday, Steinbach, the photographer, will explain the pictures in English, with Japanese interpretation from 1 p.m. and from 4 p.m. For more information, call Medecins Sans Frontieres Japon at (03) 5337-1502.

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