Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
UNAIDS Commends Bollywood for First Film Addressing HIV/AIDS in India
UNAIDS on Friday released a statement praising the premiere of "Phir Milenge," the first mainstream Bollywood Hindi film to focus on HIV/AIDS in India, the Indo-Asian News/Hindustan Times reports (Indo-Asian News/Hindustan Times, 8/21). The new film, directed by Revathy Menon, tells the story of Tamanna, a female advertising executive who is fired after her employer discovers she is HIV-positive. Tamanna then files and eventually wins a discrimination lawsuit against her employer. The film examines the stigma, discrimination and ignorance associated with HIV/AIDS in the workplace, as well as how people can address HIV discrimination through the country's courts (ApunKaChoice, 8/22). The Bollywood film industry, which is based in Mumbai, India, produces 800 films a year and an estimated 15 million people watch the films each day. "When Bollywood, one of the world's largest film industries with massive audiences, produces a film about AIDS, everyone has to sit up and take notice," UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot said, adding, "It is extremely significant that Bollywood is joining the struggle against the epidemic and helping to break the silence that surrounds HIV and AIDS" (UNAIDS release, 8/20). "People are dying or getting infected every minute, and I hope this film will highlight what we are up against in India today," Revathy said, adding, "I think it is vital to both confront injustice and help people get access to treatment" (Sify, 8/21). Several Bollywood actors, models and other Indian celebrities on Saturday walked alongside HIV-positive children into a showing of the movie to increase HIV/AIDS awareness (Indiafm/Sify, 8/21).
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