Thirty years ago, nobody knew what caused the disease. In the years since, more than 25 million victims have died. There is still no cure. Each year 50,000 more Americans get infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Medication is very expensive and HIV causes a range of severe side effects. When left untreated, AIDS still kills.
Yet there is finally hope. Those treated with medication to suppress the virus not only live longer, but significantly reduce the chance of infecting others. The FDA is on the verge of approving the first drug taken by those not infected, that could prevent them from catching HIV. This is the best AIDS news in a generation, but it’s not getting out.
In better times, this documentary would have been funded by the LA CityView 35 but the City of Los Angeles is facing a budget shortfall in the hundreds of millions. Checkmate Pictures has turned to Kickstarter, the crowd fundraising platform, for help.
“It’s a difficult subject to fund, because with victims not dying as quickly, the epidemic has fallen off the front pages. To save money, educational efforts are getting cut in schools and prisons, populations where learning about AIDS should be paramount,” Suchecki said.
As the health reporter for You Magazine and the producer of the 2007 Telly Award winning feature, “Reverse Aging Now,” Suchecki established a track record of getting the top experts in the health field to open up on camera to him. So far both Dr. Peter J. Ruane, perhaps the foremost AIDS physician in Los Angeles, and Stephen David Simon, Esq., the City of Los Angeles’ former AIDS coordinator have agreed to interviews.
“It will be a true test of social media to see if those who want to learn how to avoid HIV infection, or cope with it, manage to donate a couple of dollars, post this project’s page, “Like” it on Facebook, and circulate the project among their friends. I’d rather have 4,000 people give five bucks, than 4 give $5,000 because it means that the documentary will ultimately be seen by more,” Suchecki said.
Suchecki remains hopeful that he can raise enough funds in time on http://www.kickstarter.com/