An African immigrant in the Puget Sound area wanted to share his TB story to educate and inspire immigrants and non-immigrants.  He was treated for TB in an African country.  When he came to the U.S. after his treatment, he experienced  dental  and medical health care workers who reacted with fear when he disclosed that he once had TB. His voice speaks to the medical and social complexities of this disease.  Due to the pervasive stigma of TB, he chose not be identified for this project.

In their words...

The treatment is very long and it is a lot of medication that is not very tasty. You need somebody who will make sure that you take that medication each and every morning, even when you feel better. Otherwise, your TB will become resistant and then it will difficult to be cured.
At a hospital in Seattle, they wore negative pressure masks. It was very scary. I wish they had told me why they were dressed like that, but I didn’t realize the reason until a month or so later. They thought I had drug resistant TB. That is why they were wearing those masks. But it was very scary because they looked like they were going to the moon or something, so I thought, oh my god, I must have something. I’m going to die.

Just because you have TB doesn’t mean you have HIV. You could, but it doesn’t mean you do. Be aware that there is a difference, since anyone will give you information that may not be correct. Get information from someone who knows, like a doctor and get tested for HIV.

African Immigrant, King County