While I first met many of those profiled on Lives in Focus for the first time last year, Srinivas has been visiting them since 2001. His relationship in many ways extends beyond that of a photographer and subject.
Srinivas watched in 2002 as AIDS took the life of one sister but spared the other. On this past trip, Srinivas was sincerely moved when he saw how well the surviving sister had fared despite losing her entire family.
When I accompanied him in 2005, I was struck by how everyone considered Srinivas an old friend. In this series, Srinivas talks about his friendship with one patient:
I met Narasimha in 2002 when I was visiting Freedom Foundation AIDS Shelter for the third time. At that time he was quite ill from the effects of HIV. There were days when he just lay in bed and other times he was quite active, helping around the clinic, tending to the garden and helping bathe the really sick patients.
During my time there he kept asking me to take a full-length photo of him so that when he died his mother could put that up on the wall.
One thing that struck me about him was how positive he was about life even as he lay in bed not knowing whether he would make it to tomorrow.Since 2004 Narasimha has been on anti-retroviral medication and his health has greatly improved.
As of now, he gets his medication free from the government hospital. The situation will change as he becomes immune to the first line of treatment and has to switch to the more expensive second and hence third line of treatment.
Click on the audio slide show above to hear Srinivas discuss his friendship.
Related Previous Posting: Narasimha, a 30-year-old HIV+ auto-rickshaw driver, wonders about his future (Video Interview).