MUMBAI: The ever menacing threat of Aids shows no signs of letting up. And making a further bid at increasing awareness about the dreaded disease is HBO, which has announced that it will air a new documentary special dedicated to this pressing concern. Titled Pandemic:Facing Aids it will air later this year in the US. It has been conceived by writer, producer, director Rory Kennedy.
This documentary takes a unique look at the epidemic, melding intimate personal stories with a global perspective. Pandemic: Facing AIDS comprises five stories of individuals with HIV and AIDS from around the globe including India revealing the diverse impacts that AIDS has had on their lives. The film aims to create a greater awareness and understanding of this epidemic, and to empower people to take action in the international fight against HIV and AIDS.
In India a former truck driver, debilitated by Aids, gives strength to his family and his village, and deals with the stigma associated with Aids. Since this connection is present it won't come as a surprise if it pops up in the country at a later date.
HBO had earlier aired And The Band Played On which depicted the havoc Aids created in San Francisco. The Russian story focuses on a young couple whose use of IV drugs has left them infected with HIV and struggling with their parents for the right to raise their three-year-old son. We watch them cope with the epidemic in a country where the true scale of the devastation is just beginning to sink in.
At a Buddhist monastery in Thailand, viewers will get a glimpse of the pain that end-stage Aids patients suffer by following one former commercial sex worker on her quest to return to her village and family to die with dignity.
Speaking on the initiative Kennedy said, " What I filmed in Uganda, India, Thailand, Russia, and Brazil has shaped and expanded my definition of suffering. Yes, I saw people dying from Aids. But I also saw people fighting against Aids people fighting for themselves and their families with incredible dignity and courage. And in this I found hope, in their faces and their stories I found the hope to carry me far beyond the numbers."