HIV/AIDS: AMERICA’S DIVIDE
More than thirty years after the first case report of HIV, AIDS remains a significant problem in America. Despite tremendous advances in testing and treatment, not everyone has benefitted equally. Discovery Channel takes an in depth look at the color lines of HIV/AIDS in a world premiere documentary HIV/AIDS: AMERICA’S DIVIDE airing Saturday, March 17 at 8am e/p.
Every nine and half minutes someone in the United States is infected with HIV – and chances are that it will be someone of color. African American represent nearly half of all new cases of HIV, although they represent only 15% of the population. HIV/AIDS: AMERICA’S DIVIDE tells the unheard stories of triumph and tragedy in America’s neighborhoods and spotlights the heroes on the front lines of the fight to prevent and treat the disease. This compelling look at the new reality of HIV/AIDS exposes the cultural stigmas and social disparities that are widening the gap between who is living and who is dying.
“We know how to prevent HIV transmission. We also know that putting people on treatment greatly lowers their risk of passing on the virus. Nobody should be contracting HIV in 2012,” said fashion icon and amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole, who is featured in the documentary. “We must continue to work together to curb all new infections, especially among the most vulnerable, to bring this epidemic to an end.”
Across the country, the crisis in HIV/AIDS is increasingly seen in minority communities and yet the issue has flown under the media radar. HIV/AIDS: AMERICA’S DIVIDE reveals the latest data from CDC and shows not only where the problems are but how to solve them using advanced medical technologies and evolving patient and community care.
“People in America are still dying of HIV,” said Dr. John Whyte, Chief Medical Expert at Discovery Channel. “We’ve come full circle. Thirty years ago, those most impacted were disenfranchised members of society. Today, it’s a different group, but still primarily disenfranchised. The faces of AIDS has literally changed. I hope this documentary helps us to better understand why these problems persist and how we can combat them.”
“This program spotlights one of most serious and overlooked of our problems. In some regions of the United States, the incidence of new AIDS infections is greater than in some countries in Africa. Today, effective HIV testing and AIDS treatment is available. Ignorance of testing and treatment is our enemy.” said Dr. Robert Gallo, Founder and Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who is also featured in the documentary.
HIV/AIDS: AMERICA’S DIVIDE will repeat on March 24 and also be available to view online athttp://www.discoverychannelpatiented.com
Farewell to the Flesh: Your Steele Travel Primer to Carnival
By Dane Steele Green
Mark your calendars: Carnival is a-comin’. Falling in mid-February, it is technically a holiday-before-a-holy-day, being the herald of Lent, a six-week party-pooping period of fasting and penitence that remembers Christ’s 40 days in the wilderness. Which meant that if you were going to have any fun all at all, best to get it all out on the day before. Presto! Carnival was born. Meaning “to remove meat” in acknowledgement of the bland Lenten diet, Carnival, has since become one of the largest world-parties on the planet, with celebrations held on every continent. Steele’s five top party towns for all you party-boys are:
1) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The no brainer. An all out bonanza of Latin flesh samba-ing at 180 mph, in 2011, Rio saw its population jump by a solid one million (a 33% increase over 2010) as people from all Brazil and the world came for this most popular of Carnivals. If you haven’t booked your hotel yet, be prepared to pay through the nose - this is South America’s top tourist draw, and is booked months in advance. It doesn’t hurt that Rio is also one of Latin America’s gay-friendliest cities.
2) New Orleans, USA
Mardi Gras, Carnival - it’s all the same holiday, and New Orleans revolves around this one day, with krewes duking it out for top honors. Beads, boys, bongs - what more could you ask for? The lower French Quarter is the gay corner of the party. Today, there are eight Gay krewes in New Orleans: Amon Ra, Armeinius, Mwindo, Lords of Leather, People of Substance, Petronius, Queenateenas and Satyricon. A Gay Note: The Night of the Black Mask is held the Friday before Mardi Gras and is the South’s oldest leather block party.
3) Goa, India
Okay, we admit it’s not the first country you would think of for what is usually considered a Latin holiday, but the state of Goa, on India’s western coast, existed for over 400 years as a Portuguese colony. Head to the capital of Panaji, where the festival called Intruz rocks on for three solid days as the legendary King Momo rules over the fun. Celebrations, from traditional drumming and local nighttime dancing to full-on parades are held all over the city, but for the best of the best, nothing beats the Red and Black Ball.
4) Barranquilla, Colombia
Carnival shuts this town down. Officially an UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, if you’re not a party-monster, boy are you in the wrong place. Colombia’s biggest party fuses the energies of Europe and Africa into a bacchanalia of street dances and musical and masquerade parades. Beginning on the Saturday before Shrove Tuesday with the Battle of the Flowers, the Great Parade on Sunday and Monday is marked by a Caribo-Latin orchestral festival, while things go critical-mass during the Fat Tuesday blow-out, when the legendary king of the party, Joselito Carvajal, is buried (until next year).
5) Sitges, Spain
More than 200,000 people pack Sitges, Spain, for the festivities with all of the gay bars open in town, two huge parades on Saturday and Tuesday, and enough glitter to reflect in its entirety a supernova. The arrival of the King of the Carnestoltes onJueves Lardero (Fat Tuesday) starts off the fun and ends with the Burial of a Sardine (not making that up!) on Ash Wednesday.
Visit Steele Travel Blog (www.steeletravelblog.com) for more information.