I was helping my friend clean out his apartment today, and we came across boxes of old HIV medication he had once been prescribed. One box contained several bottles of Kaletra. Kaletra is an anti-HIV medication in a category of HIV medicines called protease inhibitors (PIs). Kaletra prevents cells infected by HIV from producing new virus. This reduces the amount of virus in your body, and can increase the number of T-cells.
My friend's dosage was 5 pills twice a day. He tells me he stopped taking the Kaletra, after starting with a "burst of energy", but things soon "fell apart". He had difficulty in following the twice a day regimen, and sooner than later, he stopped taking them altogether. According to him, it was a stressful experience, and the fear of taking the pills at work, being questioned by nosy co-workers about the reason for taking these five, bright orange colored pills. All of this was too much for him to bear.
Going through all the pill bottles, to remove the labels before disposing of them, we discovered something that was to hot to pass up for a photograph! Inside some of these bottles were congealed Kaletra pills! Funny, especially given the fact that Kaletra's materials state that the pills can be keep room tempurature. Yeah, right, but for how long? :-)
Anyway, this discovery also got me to thining about how many brothaluva's in the community don't have or know how to access medication or healthcare. Worse yet, according to the CDC, when it comes to HIV in the African-American (MSM) community, black men account for 46% of HIV infection! A startling number that at this rate, is bound to continue rising!
I was struck with a creative spark when I saw all these orange pills stuck together and went for my camera and began styling the impromptu still life shoot! With my friends assistance, we documented an important chapter in his life, and journeyed
through the process of letting go and forgiving oneself.