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Inventing Nairobi
SEPTEMBER 2005
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Photo captions by Charles E. Cobb, Jr.
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AIDS Research
Photograph by David Alan Harvey

Hawa Chelang'at came to Nairobi the unwed mother of two children. Without any means of support, she began to sell herself. When she got married, she quit and had three children with her husband, who died of an AIDS-related illness 1996. Now she has returned to prostitution. Remarkably, in a country where the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is one of the highest in Africa, Chelang'at keeps testing negative for the disease. Doctors are not sure why, and this clinic in the sprawling market area known as Majengo caters to her and other sex workers with the aim of not only finding out why, but to come up with an AIDS vaccine. "We are attempting to see if we can actually prevent the disease," says clinic research physician Charles Wachihi Waigwa. The effort began in 1999. "It might take ten or fifteen years; we've just been after it six years," he says.

Photo Fast Facts
Camera: Nikon D70
Film Type: Digital
Lens: 20mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/250 @ f/14

Weather Conditions: Indoors
Time of Day: 9:48 a.m.
Lighting Techniques: Strobe light
Special Equipment: Light box
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