Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

TB-AIDS diary

Linda Troeller
New York, New York, United States


The TB-AIDS Diary was created in 1987 to address issues of stigma, comparing the response to patients with tuberculosis in the 1930s with the reaction to patients with AIDS in the 1980s. Tuberculosis was used as a metaphor for the stigma surrounding contagious diseases and treated primarily as a historical artifact. Unfortunately, both tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS continue to afflict millions of people worldwide.

This image originates in a book created by the health department of Portugal. The title chosen for the series – “Infected With” – has larger implications towards how we handle disease in our global culture.



Snapshots and diary entry from Saranac TB sanatorium in the 1930s.




A hairdresser started the group “Mothers of AIDS” after her clients stopped coming to her salon when her son was diagnosed with AIDS.



Disease affects family life, communities, and our sense of security.



LINDA TROELLER is an artist in New York whose work involves social issues. Her most recent book Living in the Chelsea Hotel won the IPA international photography book prize. The TB-AIDS Diary won the Ferguson Prize of the Friends of Photography and has been exhibited in over one hundred places. Her work may be found at www.LindaTroeller.com.


Winter 2019   |  Sections  |  Gallery

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