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State of Denial

Distributed by California Newsreel, Order Dept., PO Box 2284, South Burlington, VT 05407; 877-811-7495 (toll free)
Produced by Lovett Productions and Elaine Epstein
Directed by Elaine Epstein
VHS, color, 83 min.
Sr. High - Adult
African Studies, Health Sciences, Sociology

Reviewed by Beth Traylor, University of Wisconsin Libraries, Milwaukee

Highly Recommended  Highly Recommended   
Date Entered: 9/10/2004

This program focuses on the HIV and AIDS epidemic in South Africa over a three-year period from 2000 to 2003. It features interviews with people with HIV and AIDS in various cities throughout South Africa as they live and die of AIDS and AIDS related illnesses. It focuses on a variety of people with the disease, both black and white. Personal stories are juxtaposed with the South African government’s stance on HIV and AIDS and their lack of action to help quell the epidemic. Also discussed are the drug company monopolies that make the HIV and AIDS drugs unaffordable to everyone but the very rich. Clinical trials are the only source of drugs for some patients, like the young mother featured who was lucky enough to get her two children into a clinical trial but not herself until she got really sick. Activists who fight for access to correct information and affordable drugs for people with HIV and AIDS and try to stem the fear of testing and the fear of sharing the diagnosis are also interviewed. This program discusses some of the suspected reasons for the widespread AIDS epidemic in South Africa including the aftermath of Apartheid, sanitation, economic conditions, nutrition, and social conditions.

This documentary alternates between both sides of the AIDS problem in South Africa with more emphasis placed on the victims. Personal interviews as well as governmental speeches and television interviews are interwoven with statistical information to form a more complete picture of the AIDS epidemic in South Africa. Includes follow-up information that the government has pledged to work on a solution to the AIDS epidemic.

State of Denial would be a good addition to any public or academic library collection on AIDS. Highly Recommended