Miss HIV

My cool and connected niece Chandy invited me to a screening of a new movie, Miss HIV, produced by the folks who brought us End of the Spear. We went last night to Harkins Theatre to watch it with an awesome group of kids from Rock Island.

I was all over going to a screening - how cool is that? I knew the subject would be heavy ... the first clue to that being the title.

It was docutainment. Awesome music and editing. So cool. But the movie was hard to follow for me a bit. It might have been designed like that though.

They showed a ton of footage a Toronto AIDS conference from last year with a lot of big deal smart people like Bill & Melinda Gates, Bill Clinton and others who got digs in to those who would dare try to teach abstinence over condom use or other prevention (there is none). The movie also featured a lot of footage and interviews from their tour of Africa - Botswana, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda.

The talking heads used a lot of big words and acronyms that lost me, and I spent a good part of the movie wondering whether I should agree or not with the Gates. They are super involved in this issue, and I think their real deal is coming up with a vaccine. But they also stirred up the left angst about pushing "morality over human rights." What does that mean, seriously?

The human right to have unprotected unmarital sex with someone who is infected with a disease that will kill you?

One talking head lady actually said that, accusing "our leaders of embracing moralistic programs that undermine human rights."

No easy answers. At all. But in Uganda, they have led the world with a campaign to decrease the spread of HIV infection. How? Led by President Museveni and his wife, they promoted a rigorous campaign of A-B-C. Abstinenece. Be faithful. If you can't, use a Condom. The president himself even went into schools and told them "if you have unprotected sex, you will die." It worked - infection numbers went down, abstinence was/is being openly celebrated by young people, but the world (and many here in the US) slammed them for it.

Why can't Bill and Melinda and Bill Clinton just acknowledge that abstinence does work without slamming it. Say it works and keep doing your own thing with your money and power.

The movie ended (hope this isn't a spoiler) with footage of the Newsboys at a concert in Uganda singing "Something Beautiful." With a huge crowd of Ugandan youth jumping and singing ... I want to go to Uganda (or it's neighboring beautiful Rwanda) and see the Newsboys in concert!

One of the big tear points for me (almost sob) was when a beautiful South African woman with HIV was speaking on a stage with Melinda Gates and others about her experience with the church when she became infected. You guessed it. They kicked her out. And she called the church hypocritical. No doubt.

Another conviction against the hands and feet of Jesus who are supposed to be His church on earth, but we've messed that up ... too.

I'm going to pray for the Gates. I don't know if they know the Lord, but I'm going to pray they find him. Meantime, I'm so proud to be a MAC user (I'll pray for Jobs too. Does he know the Lord?)

Here's a trailer ... MISS HIV