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Gail Farrow, who contracted HIV from a blood transfusion, rests on the hood of the family sedan following a fun morning with her husband and four children at the Brockton Fair in Massachusetts, 1989. (David Binder)

Changing The Image Of AIDS

by Ben de la Cruz
Jul 25, 2012

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Photographer David Binder began documenting stories about AIDS in the late 1980s and became well known for humanizing the epidemic for various publications, including Life magazine and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Over the course of 25 years, Binder has approached the subject from different angles: By spending time at Camp Sunburst, a program for families coping with AIDS; and with a former drug user turned activist, who started an underground needle-exchange program; and with a Playboy model struggling to live with the disease.

Binder's long-term documentation of Gail Farrow and her family deftly shattered readers' perception of the epidemic. Farrow, an African-American mother of four, contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion, defying the stereotype that only prostitutes, homosexuals and drug users were vulnerable to infection.

Calling My Children, Binder's documentary about Gail and her family, will be screened Wednesday night at the U.S. Capitol in conjunction with the International AIDS Conference. Watch the video to hear Binder's own words about this invaluable body of work.

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