SAN ANTONIO – An award-winning documentary about the unique challenges faced by long-term survivors of HIV and AIDS was screened in San Antonio on Thursday evening.
The San Antonio AIDS Foundation hosted the first Texas community screening of “Desert Migration” at the Santikos Bijou Cinema Bistro.
“Desert Migration” focuses on a group of gay men, all long-term HIV survivors, who sought refuge in Southern California’s Palm Springs, where their homosexuality and health condition are understood.
The film explores various aspects of people living with HIV, including the physical, medical and emotional side effects, plus the stigma associated with HIV and AIDS in the United States.
"Really, the film asks the question, 'How are you going to deal with it?' How are you going to make that choice to get through the morning to the next day?'" said John Cardone, the film director.
SAAF CEO Cynthia Nelson said the majority of people living with HIV in Bexar County are 45 or older, according to the most recent statistics from the City of San Antonio’s Metropolitan Health District.
Metro Health reported 85 percent of people living with HIV in Bexar County were men.
“The opportunity for the San Antonio AIDS Foundation to be the first to present this film in our community is truly significant,” Nelson said. “We are honored to contribute to the emerging national conversation about aging with HIV."
Nelson also said despite all the medical advances, there are people these days who wait too long to get help.
"Just having nutrition combined with medical care. They can come into a community where they can feel safe. They can come in and have a hot meal and not worry about stigma," she said.
Nelson said she hopes to reach young men in Bexar County who need to know AIDS is still a problem with no cure.
Tickets are $30 and are available at SanAntonioAIDS.org.
Proceeds benefit the SAAF and the ticket price includes a pre-film reception, a question-and-answer panel discussion with the film’s director, Nelson, local health officials and survivors.
For more information on the film, visit the official website at desertmigrationmovie.com.