Turn up the volume for these videos on issues that are often surrounded by silence: The reasons for rectal microbicides, the neglected world of children with tuberculosis, the health consequences of overcrowded prisons, and how infectious diseases travel from prison to tourist when the realities of sex work are left out of an AIDS response. The first two videos from the International Rectal Microbicide Advocates, Microbicide Trials Network and Population Council, and from Medecins Sans Frontieres, were recently released. While you’ve got the volume up, the last two videos are classics from 2007, from a Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting project for which I reported.
The Rectal Revolution: “The Rectal Revolution is Here: An introduction to rectal microbicide clinical trials” entertainingly and informatively presents the need for new methods to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV – in this case rectal microbicides – and explains the clinical trial process. The messages are made memorable by the sad sack character of the condom, who fears becoming irrelevant, as well as the scientists, trial volunteers and international locations that include Peru, South Africa, Thailand and the United States. This video was developed by International Rectal Microbicide Advocates, Microbicide Trials Network and Population Council.
Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis: No Promises: In the decades of neglect that allowed multidrug-resistant tuberculosis to become a global public health crisis, the most forgotten were children, for whom efforts to screen, diagnose and treat have not kept up with the impact of the disease on the most vulnerable affected population. TB is believed to kill about 64,000 children a year, and this probably a gross underestimate, according to the film. Shot in Tajikistan, one of Asia’s poorest countries, the film shows impact of a disease that requires at least a year and a half of treatment on the futures and families of its youngest victims, as well.
Housecall in Hell: Shot in pre-earthquake Haiti at Port au Prince’s National Penitentiary, this film documents conditions in a prison less than two hours from American shores where more than 3,500 men, in a place designed to hold no more than a thousand, are crammed into cells with no toilets or running water, and infectious diseases, including HIV and tuberculosis, spread. The film follows the work of the Miami-based nonprofit Health through Walls to improved screening, treatment and sanitary conditions there. Less than two years after the film was shot, the prison was damaged in earthquake, and its inmates fled into the streets of the city. The prison has since filled again, and Health through Walls’ work continues there.
Sex Workers Confront HIV This film, shot in 2007, follows women involved in sex work in the Dominican Republic’s tourist destinations and port towns, as they work to prevent the spread of HIV.