NEWS, Released docs, Taiwan — 08/27/2011 11:57 AM

Asia’s first documentary on AIDS patient’s family debuts (Focus Taiwan)

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Taipei, Aug. 27 (CNA) A documentary depicting the internal struggles of a mother whose son is infected with HIV/AIDS made its debut on Friday in Taipei, marking the first time a family member of an Asian AIDS patient was willing to speak out on the big screen, according to an association.

By Wang Shu-fen and James Lee

In Focus Taiwan, 2011/08/27

“The Hope of Love” is a “37-minute film about the life journey of a Taiwanese AIDS patient and the dialogue between him and his mother”, said Chen Cheng-hsun, the film’s director.

In the past, such documentaries have always evolved around the patient himself or blurred the faces of the people involved. It is the first time both the patient and his family member have been willing to stand up and speak out on camera, the Kaohsiung-based Taiwan Love and Hope Association told a news conference. The mother, surnamed Tai, attended the press conference with her son, Mathew, and told reporters: “If I myself do not support my son, who else would?”

When Tai first knew her son was gay and infected with HIV, she was very anxious and worried. But afterwards, she decided to actively take part in activities to help homosexual people and AIDS patients.

“As long as there is love, things will go smoothly; without love, everything becomes meaningless,” the 50-something Tai said in the film.

In 2009, the association came up with the idea of shooting a documentary for AIDS patients, and after two years of preparation, the film was finally released.

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The film includes English and Japanese subtitles. The association says it wants to reach out to more audiences. It is also planning to take the film on a tour in Taiwan, and host small discussion groups along the way to broaden awareness.

Family plays an important role in AIDS patients’ life, said Shih Wen-yi, deputy director-general of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Only through the family’s support and care, as well as a friendly medical and social environment, can people fight against AIDS, he added.

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According to statistics provided by the CDC, the number of newly reported HIV/AIDS cases among people between the ages of 15 and 24 in 2010 increased by 13.3 percent compared to 2009. This shows a worrying trend of more young people being infected with AIDS.

Focus Taiwan

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