Pediatric AIDS spotlighted in new documentary

Woodruff Health Sciences Center | April 18, 2012

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According to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the sub-Saharan region of Africa is home to more than 90 percent of new pediatric infections and children living with HIV.

"The Carrier," a documentary film that tells the story of a young, pregnant Zambian woman who discovers she is HIV-positive, and then sets out to keep her baby and community virus-free, will be screened at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH) on Wednesday, April 18 from 6 to 9 p.m.

The event is co-hosted by the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) and Center for AIDS Research at Emory University (CFAR).

Maggie Betts, the writer, producer and director of the film and longtime advocate for the rights of HIV-positive women and children in sub-Saharan Africa, will participate in a panel discussion following the screening.

She will be joined in the discussion by James W. Curran, dean of RPSH and co-director of CFAR; Susan Allen, CFAR investigator and professor of pathology at Emory University School of Medicine; and Jeffrey T. Safrit, director of clinical and basic research at EGPAF.

Curran, one of the world’s leading HIV/AIDS experts, helped found CFAR at Emory to advance HIV/AIDS scientific research and discoveries domestically and around the globe. It is one of 20 CFARS in the US funded by the National Institutes of Health. 

"This moving documentary shines the spotlight on our continued responsibility to educate people about mother to child transmission of HIV and to continue to work diligently to support prevention efforts world-wide while working toward eliminating HIV/AIDS across the globe," says Curran.

According to EGPAF the sub-Saharan region of Africa is home to more than 90 percent of new pediatric infections and children living with HIV. Pediatric AIDS has been virtually eliminated in the US with fewer than 200 children born with HIV each year.

"While the epicenter of new pediatric AIDS cases is in sub-Saharan Africa, HIV remains an issue affecting mothers and children in the United States," says Safrit, whose organization helps lead programmatic, research and advocacy efforts to eliminate pediatric AIDS worldwide.

"This screening offers a forum to discuss this critical health issue and efforts to combat the epidemic locally and globally."

To attend "The Carrier" screening, please register online.