A Special Evening to Shine the Light on HIV/AIDS in the Rural South
July 23, 2012, 6:00pm, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Washington, DC
On Monday, July 23rd, AIR convened a special evening of reflection, discussion, and engagement in order to shine the light on the state of HIV/AIDS in the American South.
Guests gathered at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C., where more than 25,000 service providers, advocates, policy makers and researchers convened for the International AIDS Conference. This year’s conference marked the first time in more than 20 years that the IAC will be held in the United States, and offered a unique opportunity to focus attention on the nature and scope of the epidemic in the American South.
Shine the Light! guests viewed deepsouth, a poignant new documentary that showcases women and men living with and fighting HIV in the rural South, and addresses some of the broader social and political issues that plague this region in crisis.
The post-film discussion was led by Dr. David Holtgrave of Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health, with deepsouth director Lisa Biagiotti. They were joined by a panel of expert discussants as they delved into the intersection of issues raised by the film: poverty, race, class, education, justice, stigma, and access to affordable, quality, and compassionate care. The MAC AIDS FUND supported this program.
AIR and its partner Commetric—a communications, media, and influencer analysis company—have conducted an analysis of the last two years’ media coverage seeking to gain insight into the general level of awareness, consciousness, or association of HIV to the issues of income, healthcare, race, poverty, homophobia, stigma, child molestation, and incarceration. The analysis was conducted with both national and southern media outlets.
Expert panelists included:
- Thomas Dobbs, MD, infectious disease doctor in Mississippi
- Wayne Duffus, MD, Medical Director, HIV/STD Division of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
- Julia Galdo, Managing Director, Public Communication, Health Program, American Institutes for Research (AIR)
- Kathie Hiers, CEO, AIDS Alabama
- Monica Johnson, Founder and Executive Director, HEROES in Louisiana
- Peter Leone, MD, Medical Director, HIV/STD Division of the North Carolina Department of Health
- Carolyn McAllaster, Project Director, Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative (“SASI”)/ Clinical Professor of Law and Director, Duke Law AIDS and Policy Project
- Michael Murphree, Executive Director, Southern AIDS Coalition
- Pernessa C. Seele, Founder and CEO, The Balm in Gilead
- Miriam Vega, Vice President, Latino Commission on AIDS Deep South Project
For more information about Shine the Light!, contact Susan Wolfson.