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AIDS 2014 Video Blog #5: Activist Theater, Condom Tryouts and a Mystery Man Revealed

By Mark S. King

July 25, 2014

Inspiring stories of people living with HIV.


There was HIV drama in Melbourne during AIDS 2014, both on the city's stages and on the floor of the conference building itself.

This week, Gilead was targeted by hepatitis C treatment activists over the stunning price of its new hepatitis C drug, sofosbuvir (Sovaldi): US$1,000 per pill for each day of a 12-week regimen. Because the medication is both more effective and offers a shorter treatment period than previous therapies, activists see the drug as key to ending the hepatitis C scourge as we know it -- but warn that the price could keep that from happening. They took action here at the conference, and one of those events is in this video.

Meanwhile in Melbourne, two gay characters spar in a boxing ring over issues of HIV disclosure in "Box Me," and a series of monologues adapted from transcripts of real people's dialogue brings immediacy to HIV in "STATUS," both of which are playing in the city during AIDS 2014. Come along for a peek of the shows and a chat with their directors.

And among other gems in this video blog -- which includes my skepticism about the aesthetics of the female condom and a chat with a number of prominent figures at AIDS 2014, such as the incoming (and first-ever openly gay) president of the International AIDS Society -- is the Big Reveal: my volunteer cameraman, who has been tirelessly schlepping my equipment, shooting tape and dutifully laughing at my jokes for the past week.

As you'll quickly be able to see, with Theo around, it's been a lot easier to get the interest of potential interview subjects. Add a genuine humility to his Aussie charm, and you'll understand why this exhausting week has had a bright spot.

Thanks for watching, and please be well.


Copyright © 2014 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.




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