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FRONTLINE: Endgame: Aids In Black America

Airs Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Dr. David Ho, HIV/AIDS specialist, draws blood from Magic Johnson.

Every 10 minutes, someone in the United States contracts the AIDS virus. Half are black. Thirty years after the discovery of the AIDS virus among gay white men, nearly half of the one million people in the United States infected with HIV are black men, women and children.

Nel, a retired nurse and grandmother, discovered an HIV test tucked into her new husband’s bible a year after their wedding.
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Above: Nel, a retired nurse and grandmother, discovered an HIV test tucked into her new husband’s bible a year after their wedding.

No one knows how many babies were born with HIV in the early years — not many survived. Tom and Keith, survivors who were born with the virus in the early 1990s and survived after their mothers died, rap about growing up with HIV.
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Above: No one knows how many babies were born with HIV in the early years — not many survived. Tom and Keith, survivors who were born with the virus in the early 1990s and survived after their mothers died, rap about growing up with HIV.

Civil rights activist Julian Bond.
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Above: Civil rights activist Julian Bond.

Article

Why People Still Won’t Get Tested for HIV by Sarah Childress

This groundbreaking FRONTLINE exploration of one of the country’s most urgent, preventable health crises traces the history of the epidemic through the experiences of extraordinary individuals who tell their stories: Nel, a 63-year old grandmother who married a deacon in her church and later found an HIV diagnosis tucked into his Bible; Tom and Keith, survivors who were born with the virus in the early 1990s and survived after their mothers died; and Jovanté, a high school football player who didn’t realize what HIV meant until it was too late.

From Magic Johnson to civil rights pioneer Julian Bond, from pastors to health workers, people on the front lines tell moving stories of the battle to contain the spread of the virus, and the opportunity to turn the tide of the epidemic.

Shot coast to coast in Los Angeles, Oakland, Atlanta, Birmingham, Selma, New York, Boston and Washington, D.C.; in churches, clinics, a high school classroom, a prison, a nightclub, a restaurant kitchen and on the street, the story moves through time and across the country, finally focusing on the South, where the crisis is growing fastest among young people.

FRONTLINE reveals the chain of events that helped spread the epidemic, even altering the nature of the mating game itself.

As UCLA psychologist Gail Wyatt explains, “For males, they have a shopping spree.... For women, ‘I may have to take some risks to prove to that person that I really care about them, that I trust them and I’m not going to create a lot of drama.’”

The film is directed, produced and written by Renata Simone, the producer of the 2006 award-winning FRONTLINE series “The Age of AIDS.”

FRONTLINE is on Facebook, and you can follow @frontlinepbs on Twitter.

Video

Preview: Frontline: Endgame: Aids In Black America

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Watch Endgame: AIDS in Black America on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Above: "Endgame: Aids In Black America" is a groundbreaking two-hour exploration of one of the country’s most urgent, preventable health crises.

Widget

“ENDGAME” on NPR’s “Fresh Air”

Above: Renata Simone, who produced, directed and wrote the film, "Endgame: Aids In Black America," and Dr. Robert Fullilove, a professor of clinical sociomedical studies at Columbia University, were on NPR’s "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross to discuss the political, social and cultural factors that caused the epidemic to spread within the African American community, and why prevention has yet to work.