Aids in Odessa.
Photography by Andrea Diefenbach.
Hatje Cantz, 2008. 160 pp., 100 color illustrations., 6¾x9".
In the spring of 2006, the German
photographer Andrea Diefenbach
(born in 1974) spent time with several
HIV-positive Ukranian women
and men as they went about their
daily routines in the harbor city of
Odessa, documenting an AIDS epidemic
that has been too little covered
in the international news
media. The Ukraine has been among
those countries most severely
affected by the collapse of the
Soviet Union, and one consequence
of this collapse has been an epic
spread of HIV infection: the World
Health Organization estimates that
160 thousand people in Odessa are
HIV positive, and recently the
Ukraine set an unhappy record for
the highest rate of new infections in
Europe. Alerted to this crisis by an
article in Die Zeit, Diefenbach set
out to record its effects and raise
awareness of the Ukraine’s plight
for a larger public.