For centuries, Leprosy or Hansen's disease has been a disease both feared and misunderstood. In many societies - even after the biological cause of the disease was discovered - those with Leprosy are shunned and stigmatized. In India, Leprosy was considered eradicated by the World Health Organization in 2005, but certainly not eliminated. Although eradicated, India, had the highest reported new cases with 137,000 reported in 2008. India is the home to over 700 leper colonies. This story explores the stigma associated with leprosy-affected people and how they are forced to live, now and even years after being diagnosed.
       
     
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 For centuries, Leprosy or Hansen's disease has been a disease both feared and misunderstood. In many societies - even after the biological cause of the disease was discovered - those with Leprosy are shunned and stigmatized. In India, Leprosy was considered eradicated by the World Health Organization in 2005, but certainly not eliminated. Although eradicated, India, had the highest reported new cases with 137,000 reported in 2008. India is the home to over 700 leper colonies. This story explores the stigma associated with leprosy-affected people and how they are forced to live, now and even years after being diagnosed.
       
     

For centuries, Leprosy or Hansen's disease has been a disease both feared and misunderstood. In many societies - even after the biological cause of the disease was discovered - those with Leprosy are shunned and stigmatized. In India, Leprosy was considered eradicated by the World Health Organization in 2005, but certainly not eliminated. Although eradicated, India, had the highest reported new cases with 137,000 reported in 2008. India is the home to over 700 leper colonies. This story explores the stigma associated with leprosy-affected people and how they are forced to live, now and even years after being diagnosed.

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