“Blood Brother:” A Moving Portrayal of the Fight to End Pediatric HIV/AIDS
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation hosted an advance screening of the documentary "Blood Brother" in Los Angeles, Calif.
Stories of hope and inspiration reach us from all around the world, and while no two are exactly alike, few are as powerful as the story depicted in the documentary “Blood Brother.” This film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award, and was recently reviewed as a “Critic’s Pick” in The New York Times.
With moving intimacy, the film captures the story of Rocky Braat, a young man from Pittsburgh, PA who moves to India to work in an orphanage for HIV-positive children. Through the eyes of Steve Hoover, Rocky’s best friend and the film’s director, the audience understands just how much of a difference one person’s love and compassion can make, especially in affecting the lives and well-being of children infected with HIV.
On October 22, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) hosted a sneak preview screening at the William Morris Endeavor Screening Room in Beverly Hills, CA. In collaboration with Sundance Institute and Tugg Inc., the film’s distribution platform, 75 guests joined us to see this heartwarming film and learn more about the still present urgency around HIV/AIDS in children and the essential role that is filled by care and treatment programs.
For viewers, the film brings to light the realities of pediatric HIV/AIDS in resource-limited countries. Tragically, 260,000 children are newly infected with HIV each year. “Blood Brother” depicts a raw and realistic account of the ongoing epidemic and how deeply it affects the lives of children, something that EGPAF regularly encounters in all the countries in which we work.
Our goal to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV goes beyond merely providing antiretroviral medications. EGPAF also provides psychosocial support, community involvement in HIV/AIDS programs, and treatment and care of opportunistic infections.
Just like Rocky, EGPAF cares for children infected and affected to ensure they have the stability, treatment and love that they need. “Blood Brother” underscores the mission of our organization, which is to ultimately work ourselves --and Rocky-- out of a job.
We have the knowledge and the science to ensure that no child is born HIV-positive; that no family is torn apart by the untimely loss of a loved one to AIDS and that no child is left orphaned by the disease.
We can end pediatric HIV/AIDS and can give children around the world the necessary care and support to lead long, healthy lives. All we need is your help in making that possible.
Erika Flynn is EGPAF’s Development Officer based in Los Angeles, Calif.