Monday, December 01, 2008

Jaago on World AIDS Day

[From The Langar Hall] Today is World AIDS Day. The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is leadership and efforts are focused on prevention. Indeed, on this 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day, President-elect Obama has stated that his administration will focus on prevention and treatment for at-risk communities in the U.S. and rest of the world. World AIDS Day, is the day when organisations from around the world come together to bring attention to the global AIDS epidemic. In 2007, there were 33 million people living with HIV/AIDS. Women account for 50% of all adults living with HIV worldwide and young people (under 25 years old) account for half of all new HIV infections worldwide. In line with the theme of leadership which is the message of this year’s anniversary, I came across AIDS Jagoo - an effort by Mira Nair and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - to bring together Indian directors and actors to create four short dramatic films that aim to “dismantle myths and misconceptions of HIV/AIDS.” The four AIDS Jagoo films come from various parts of India - each its own genre and with a different point of view on the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Migration, directed by Mira Nair, discusses HIV/AIDS from an urban/rural angle. Blood Brothers, directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, follows the journey of a young man from a positive HIV diagnosis to the eye-opening conclusion. Prarambha (The Beginning), directed by Santosh Sivan, deals with society’s prejudices against people with AIDS through the journey of a young boy’s search for his mother. Positive, directed by Farhan Akhtar, shows a family coping with AIDS and reveals the courage they bring to overcome the tragedy. Most of the films have subtitles. Hopefully you’ll be able to watch some or all of these and join the global community in remembering those impacted by HIV/AIDS.

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