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U.S. News

"deepsou+h": Filmmaker Explores HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Hardest-Hit Region

March 1, 2013

Bible Belt communities and HIV/AIDS conferences have viewed "deepsou+h," which independent journalist and filmmaker Lisa Biagiotti created to document HIV/AIDS in the rural South. Biagiotti hopes the film will stimulate HIV discussion, especially among sex educators; faith communities; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. To capture content for "deepsou+h," Biagiotti traveled 13,000 miles through the rural South and interviewed more than 400 HIV-affected people throughout a two-year period.

The stories of three individuals form the centerpiece of "deepsou+h": Monica Johnson, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of HEROES; Kathie Hiers, CEO of AIDS Alabama; and college student Joshua Alexander. Johnson, who has been HIV-infected for 28 years, lost a three-year-old son to HIV. Johnson's organization, HEROES, provides HIV prevention through after-school activities in rural Louisiana. Hiers stated that more than half of HIV deaths have taken place in the South. Alexander has had HIV for six years.

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