A film to try and encourage open discussions about the AIDS virus has opened on World AIDS Day in Johannesburg.

The 90-minute film, entitled ‘Inside Story: The Science of HIV/AIDS’, focuses on a football player’s body, showing how he becomes infected with HIV and spreads the virus.

December 1 has marked World AIDS Day since the first event in 1988, with worldwide events taking place to raise awareness of the disease.

Harriet Gavshon, one of the producers on the film, said that AIDS can still be a taboo subject because of the “toxic combination” of death and sex. "You have to constantly find new ways of trying to talk about it," she added.

 

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‘Inside Story’ will also debut in the US in January and Nigeria later next year. The cast features actors from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa in the hope of spreading the word across the continent.

Globally, an estimated 33.3 million people have HIV and more than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007 have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

The film is a co-production of Johannesburg's Curious Pictures and an international development programme sponsored by the US reality and educational TV company Discovery. Makers are hoping to broadcast the film and distribute DVDs and booklets to help guide discussions after viewing.

 

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