California: Los Angeles Clinic Launches Telenovela About HIV/AIDS

AltaMed, a Los Angeles health clinic, launched a serialized drama about HIV/AIDS, called "Sin Verguenza" (Without Shame) on November 30, and hopes to decrease stigma and raise awareness about the disease among Latinos. State Senator Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) announced the telenovela at one of the clinic's sites to mark World AIDS Day, December 1. The multipart serial recounts the story of the Salazars, a fictional family living in East Los Angeles. Writers have based the storyline on the experiences of AltaMed clinic patients.

Natalie Sanchez, AltaMed's HIV prevention manager, declared that traditional patient education methods are not sufficient, so she and others created the telenovela in the hopes of eliminating some of the myths that Latinos still believe. Sanchez explained, "With these stories, we hope the messages will resonate." The English and Spanish drama is part of a public health campaign to encourage patients to get tested, promote HIV prevention, and urge HIV patients to pursue medical care. The show, airing on YouTube, encompasses topics such as stigma, infidelity, and family secrets. The AltaMed clinic used a federal grant to produce the show and hopes that it will get picked up by a local TV station.