This unique documentary goes beyond the statistics of the AIDS epidemic among black women. It is a deeply personal exploration of the bedroom politics that make black women, and in fact all women, especially vulnerable to infection. The film follows a young female doctor, Mehret Mandefro, working in the south Bronx, as she gives medical and emotional support to her afflicted patients. Mehret is battling not only the virus, but the social conditions that leave these women so vulnerable. Focusing on two women, Chevelle and Tara, she explores their lives and how their early experience of abuse contributed to their inability to demand protected sex of their mates . She forms a support group where women patients confide in and comfort one another.As Chevelle and Tara strive for more power in their lives and relationships, Mehret expands her research to include women across boundaries of race, class and country. She realizes that even she, a Harvard- educated physician, faces a dangerous pow
Living Positive examines the lives of five HIV/AIDS diagnosed women from different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds (African-American, Latino and Caucasian). What is unique about this film is that it highlights everyday women who just happened to fall into misfortune. It could happen to anyone.The film follows the women over the course of four years. It explores important life lessons about love, strength, empowerment and learning to have faith in oneself. It is about the women's fears, triumphs, families, respective ethnic communities and what life is like for them day to day.Through their stories we come to understand how they have grown from a place of fear to a place where they appreciate the beauty of life and strive to live each day fully. By the end, we learn how to prevent being infected with the HIV virus, what to do if one learns that he or she is infected, and how to live well in spite of it.
Sorious Samura, a European journalist of African descent, volunteered to work as an orderly in a hospital in Zambia. The majority of the hospital's patients are HIV positive. Confronted daily with death, he describes his workplace as being like a frontline war zone. The staff works under horrendous conditions where protective gloves are a luxury and shrouds for the dead are stained with the blood of previous corpses. On some days the running water stops after only an hour or two in the morning.Samura exposes the untold story of AIDS; how poverty and the complex nature of African culture and sexuality are hampering efforts to eradicate this horrifying disease. After one month, he is left with the realization that if the war against HIV in Africa is to be won, poverty, ignorance and African sexual attitudes have to be tackled in the bluntest possible manner. He delivers a scathing condemnation of the irresponsibility of African men regarding sexual matters.
This hard-hitting, up-to-date documentary grapples with the special problems of women in the AIDS epidemic. It will encourage frank discussion on of subjects such as safe sex for both straight and lesbian women, health care for HIV positive women, and advocacy efforts. Despite attempts at education, HIV is still thought of as a male, gay disease, even by doctors and health care workers. This sometimes results in women being improperly diagnosed, even if they exhibit classic symptoms.In addition, women have a difficult time insisting on safe sex since they are often afraid to antagonize their partners. Understanding safe sex means being clear about the level of risk of transmission in different sexual activities. This issue is explored at a safe sex workshop for men and women led by an experienced health educator. In another setting, the risk of HIV infection for lesbians is discussed. By filming a broad cross-section of women, the social and political implications of this disease are r