HIV: Stigma a bigger killer than the virus?

A doctor turned film-maker in India says people affected by HIV are dying more from the social stigma attached to the disease than by the disease itself.

Dr Jorge Guillermo Caravotta’s AIDS documentary Second Life was released recently. Goa-based journalist Fred Noronha’s story about this film has appeared on several websites.


An extract from the article:

India has 5.1 million HIV positive people, second only to South Africa. However, the stigma and discrimination associated with this disease are the real enemies, said Mumbai-based Caravotta, an Italian doctor of Argentine origin.

“My source of inspiration was Kamal, the first PLHA (person living with HIV/AIDS) to be my colleague,” he said.

Kamal discovered her HIV/AIDS status six months into marriage. After her husband’s death and daughter’s birth, she completed her medical studies to “live for positive people like her”, says Caravotta’s film.

“I never thought of making a documentary film about HIV/AIDS before. But after listening to her during a trip to Delhi, I found in her story a lot of courage to empower PLHAs,” Caravotta told IANS.

“India acted as an alarm clock for my film-making creativity, boosting my potential,” he added. “I would like the message of the documentary film spread all over this country with the same velocity as the virus.”

Read full article here: Doctor’s AIDS Documentary Focus on Stigma and Discrimination

4 Responses to “HIV: Stigma a bigger killer than the virus?”

  1. Jorge CARAVOTTA Says:

    Yes, Stigma kills even more than the virus can kill, at least we can control de virus with antiretrovirals, but what to control the Stigma and discrimination?
    Leaflets, awareness campaign or love and compassion?
    Dificult, some people choose suicide.
    Early eutanasia?

    April 2007
    Dr Jorge CARAVOTTA

  2. movingimages Says:

    I thank fellow journalist and blogger Fred Noronha who first wrote about Second Chance. It’s very good to have the film-maker join our conversation — I’ve just been to Dr Caravotta’s Humanity Films website, http://drjorgecaravotta.com/secondlife.html I can only salute him for choosing the video/film medium to tackle the enormous challenge of HIV. I wish more medical and health professionals will think on these lines.

    – Nalaka Gunawardene

  3. FN Says:

    Hi Nalaka, Thanks for your comments. See you soon… FN


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