Washington Post Profiles HIV-Positive Filmmaker Who Draws Attention to AIDS Epidemic Among Women in Film, Photo Exhibit
The Washington Post on Saturday profiled Sharon Sopher, an Emmy-winning television producer and filmmaker, who -- after 30 years of making documentaries about the "faceless and oppressed" -- has made a documentary about her own battle since being diagnosed with HIV in 2000. The "frank and raw" 75-minute film, titled "HIV Goddess: Stories of Courage -- Diary of a Filmmaker," tells the story of her life as a journalist traveling and filming in Africa, becoming sick -- she likely contracted HIV through a dirty needle at a medical clinic in Africa -- and being diagnosed, and "struggling to regain her health and some dignity and to go on with her life and work," according to the Post. Sopher, who says her film is the first by and about a woman with AIDS, said she hopes the film will be the first in a trilogy about AIDS in the United States. She plans to do a documentary about women who contracted HIV from their husbands and one that would warn young women about their vulnerability to the disease. As part of her mission to draw attention to the HIV/AIDS epidemic among women, Sopher also has created a photo exhibit, called "HIV Goddesses: America's Newest Faces of AIDS." Sopher has said she also would like to write a book to support HIV-positive women. "God knew what he was doing when he gave [AIDS] to me, 'cause I know what to do with" the disease, Sopher said, adding, "It would be irresponsible of me as a journalist to not do this story." Sopher's film was screened at the New York AIDS Film Festival in September and has also been shown to small audiences at HHS, Africare and the Women's Research and Education Institute in Washington, D.C. (Duke, Washington Post, 12/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.