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This piece is based upon my experiences over the course of 18 months in Lusaka, Zambia with the Cen- ter for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ). I worked with patients in HIV/AIDS clinics across the country, coordinating community health initiatives and assisting in small business develop- ment for HIV support groups. In this setting, the limits and discrepancies in access to health care, nutri- tion, employment and education were stark and sobering, but it wasn’t necessary to venture into the heart of a compound to witness the risk factors faced by most Zambians. A simple commute to work was enough to see the effects of poverty and the threat of disease. My work and time in Zambia has im- pressed upon me the importance of understanding a patient’s life and context outside of the clinic, in order to treat them effectively within the clinic.



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