October 5, 1995 - October 28, 1995
In the spring of 1989 a psychiatrist at the Bronx Lebanon Hospital in New York asked me if I would photograph a support group he was running for people with HIV and AIDS. I agreed and spent the following year attending weekly sessions and photographing members of the group. In this group was a married Puerto Rican couple, Ralph and Sensa, with whom I developed a special rapport. Ralph and Sensa were both HIV positive.
At that time, Ralph and Sensa were living on welfare in the Bronx with four children ranging from age 2 to 13. They had one daughter of their own and three daughters from three different previous relationships of Sensa’s. All the children have so far tested HIV negative.
Over the past five years I have been recording their complicated lives through photography and taped interviews. In the course of that time, Ralph and Sensa separated, their oldest daughter left home and became pregnant, and Sensa later died from AIDS-related complications. Ralph is now living with a new girlfriend, and Sensa’s four children have been split up into three foster homes: only one, the youngest, still lives with Ralph.