CSIS Premieres New Docuseries on the HIV/AIDS Pandemic
July 2, 2020
Washington, July 2, 2020: The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Global Health Policy Center today released the first episode of a new docuseries, The Pandemic Paradox - HIV on the Edge. Launched ahead of the International AIDS Conference, this five-part original series examines the risk of a resurgent HIV/AIDS pandemic four decades after the first case was reported and a few months into the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have made tremendous strides in the fight against HIV/AIDS, but there is still profound uncertainty and much work to be done,” said John J. Hamre, CSIS president and CEO. “This project tells the vitally important stories of those persons living on the margins with the threat of the virus as well as those innovators striving to find solutions to this complex, evolving challenge.”
The documentary project features many of the world’s most prominent and impactful voices on HIV/AIDS, such as National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci and former UNAIDS chief Peter Piot, and includes original footage and interviews of those living with the threat of HIV/AIDS in Kwazulu-Natal and Gauteng, South Africa; Odessa and Kiev, Ukraine; and diverse communities in the American South and West.
The first episode introduces iconic figures who have pioneered the global response to HIV/AIDS. They see rising threats to the gains achieved in preventing and treating HIV/AIDS. This risk of regression grows out of many factors: complacency, barriers to reaching vulnerable and marginalized populations, distractions, the power of the HIV virus in the absence of a vaccine or cure, and now the colossal force of the coronavirus pandemic.
Watch the first episode here.
“We’ve lived with HIV/AIDS for almost 40 years, been through hell and back, and reached extraordinary heights,” said J. Stephen Morrison, CSIS senior vice president and director of the Global Health Policy Center. “Yet the entire enterprise remains more fragile than we sometimes can see or admit. Well before the coronavirus appeared, the world of HIV/AIDS was at risk of regression. The coronavirus now tests just how fragile and how resilient the future will be.”
This project is the third collaboration between Morrison and Peabody and Emmy award-winning journalist Justin Kenny (Small Footprint Films). Their first feature film, The New Barbarianism (2017), was awarded the Best Documentary prize at the LA Film Festival, aired on PBS, and was featured in the Christian Science Monitor, PBS NewsHour, and PBS’s Story in the Public Square. This film was made possible by the generous support of Merck & Co., Johnson & Johnson, Chevron, ViiV, and Gilead Sciences.
To learn more about the series and upcoming episodes, visit the project webpage.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, nonprofit policy research organization dedicated to advancing practical ideas to address the world’s greatest challenges.