AIDS - From Panic To Silence

Archive ID: 1998_aids_from_panic_to_silence

The first part of this film is looking back on the American AIDS disease outbreak. Dr Selma Dritz tells about her early discoveries of a rare skin phenomenom in male patients, Kaposi Sarcoma, which turned out to be a symptom of the disease AIDS. From this point the film guides the viewer through the New York district The Bronx, where the police is working against the high rates of intravenous drug usage. The film then carries on to Uganda where the social situation is still very bad since the outbreak in the late 1980's. It also shows the situation of female sex workers in Thailand and boy sex workers in Brazil. It is a flashback on the early years of AIDS epidemic and also an illustration of the silence that has emerged on the subject over time.

Background material

"The most interesting part of making this film was to interview those who were in San Francisco and New York when AIDS first hit these two cities, and Los Angeles as well in 1981. Especially interesting was listening to the respected AIDS doctor Paul Volberding at Ward 86 at the San Francisco General Hospital and Dr Selma Dritz, Infectious Disease Specialist, who tracked the first cases down. It was fascinating to listen to her story of how a few cases in San Francisco and New York could develop into a global epidemic. This was also the first occasion when I actually started to interview the same persons a second time, such as Paul Volberding and scientist Robert Gallo and several others whom I revisited, for my Face of AIDS filming. In 1998 I really started to feel that I am developing a film archive for the future, as I saved and stored all filmed material." - Staffan Hildebrand