Staying alive: the women who are immune to Aids

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n the past 30 years Agnes has had unprotected sex with up to 2,000 infected men. Yet she and a small number of her fellow sex workers are still free from Aids. Stephanie Nolen travels to Majengo, a slum in Nairobi, to meet the extraordinary women and researchers who are changing the history of HIV.

I lay down to test the mattress: it was lumpy and totallyunyielding,not the sort of place one would want to spend much time, which seemed a little odd, given the purpose of this room. Agnes Munyiva saw my wince, laughed and patted the bed. ‘You need it to be hard, because otherwise you could get hurt when the men are pushing on you,’ she explained.

The mattress, stuffed with lumpy cotton and resting on a plain metal frame,

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