LIVING Positive: A Women's Wellness (film) Project
|It is hard to believe that we are now in the third decade of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and it is still having a major impact on millions of lives. What is even harder to comprehend is despite the communication technology we currently have, people living in the United States are not well informed about who is being effected and how. Many people still believe this is a male disease and one that is more prevalent in other countries.
Do you know that nearly 1/3 of new HIV infections in the USA occur in women? Are you aware that HIV infection is the third leading cause of death among all US women? Even more astounding is the fact that HIV infection is the leading cause of death among black women aged 25-44 years. Females now account for almost one-half (47%) of the 37.2 million adults living with HIV worldwide. Of the 16,000 new infections that occur everyday, up to sixty percent are now among women. Since the beginning of the epidemic over 9 million women have died from HIV/AIDS-related illnesses.
These statistics are overwhelming. The fact that they are on the rise for women is even more alarming.
Obviously there is a need to educate and empower women so they can maintain their wellness and that of their family. The Rehoboth Beach Film Society decided to address that challenge by initiating a statewide film project called Living Positive: A Women's Wellness Project. This project is designed to increase women's awareness about the risk factors of contracting HIV/AIDS and prevention methods as well as empowering women to seek quality services.
Living Positive: A Women's Wellness Project will consist of four events scheduled in Delaware's three counties as follows:
Nov 28 @ 7 p.m. - Delaware Technical Community College (Georgetown campus) Nov 29 @ 7 p.m. - Delaware State University (Dover campus) Nov 30 @ 7 p.m. - Theater N (Wilmington) Dec 1 @ 7 p.m. - University of Delaware
Each event will include a screening of the film Living Positive: Women and AIDS followed by a health education presentation, personal experiences of women living with HIV/AIDS and a Q&A period. Admission for each event is free.
Completed in 2001, the film Living Positive: Women and AIDS examines the lives of five women, diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, from different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds (African-American, Latino, and Caucasian). What is unique about this film is that it highlights everyday women emphasizing the message that anyone can contract HIV/AIDS.
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 fear, triumphs, families, respective ethnic communities and what life is like for them day-to-day. 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 with HIV.
Recognizing the value of this project to Delaware residents, several other organizations agreed to offer their expertise, resources, and ability to spread the word as co-sponsors of this project. In addition to the Rehoboth Beach Film Society, this project is being sponsored by Delaware HIV Consortium, CAMP Rehoboth, AIDS Delaware, The Wellness Foundation of Delaware, University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Delaware Technical and Community College, Siquis, Sussex County AIDS Council, and Gilead Sciences.
All showings of Living Positive are open to the public at no charge. For more information, call the Rehoboth Film Society, 302-645-9095 or CAMP Rehoboth, 302-227-5620.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 15, No. 15 November 23, 2005