Leprosy is almost unheard of in Western cultures, or we gloss over it by calling it “Hansen’s Disease.” While there are an estimated 200 cases per year in the U.S., modern medicine has rendered it no more lethal than the common cold, if properly treated. But, in some locales around the world, it is still a very real and viable threat.
Photographer Ali Hamed Haghdoust wanted to further explore the legitimate threats of leprosy in the Middle East. In a project called “The Lost Beauty,” he spent six years in the provinces of East and West Azerbaijan, Iran documenting the social and cultural impact of the horrifying disease.
(Warning: Graphic images after the jump.)