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Health Care Provider's Telenovela Addressing HIV Awareness And Prevention Among Latinos To Be Featured At Palm Springs Film Festival, Sept. 22-15

February 23, 2017 - Press Release

PALM SPRINGS, CA – Using a cultural touchstone to address HIV/AIDS among the Latino community, AltaMed Health Services’ telenovela “Sin Vergüenza” (“Without Shame”) will be screened at the Ninth annual Cinema Diverse: The Palm Springs Gay and Lesbian Film Festival during September 22-26, 2016.

Now in its second season, Sin Vergüenza, the award-winning and nationally recognized telenovela series bridges HIV education and telenovela entertainment to reduce HIV-related health disparities in Latino communities. The seven-episode (English and Spanish) series was produced to reduce HIV stigma and shame, and increase awareness on the importance of HIV testing, treatment, and medical adherence. Sin Vergüenza season two is a dramatic web-series that highlights the Salazar’s, a fictional Mexican-American family’s dealing with an HIV diagnosis. While the first season’s goal was to encourage viewers to seek HIV testing, the second season promotes HIV medical care, treatment and prevention, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and preventing mother-to-child transmission. "The only shame is living a lie” theme of Season one is triumphed with season two’s dilemma of confronting those lies.

Partnering with Desert AIDS Project, AltaMed will host two Q&A sessions following the film’s two screenings to address audience questions on the medication, PrEP, which is known to prevent HIV transmission and clarify misconceptions on the drug. Studies have shown that PrEP’s efficacy can reach 96 percent in men who have sex with men with just four doses per week and is higher (99 percent) if taken seven days a week.

“Sin Vergüenza is a unique educational tool to address an important community health care issue, a thought-provoking, cutting-edge drama that uses storytelling to tackle the shame and stigma associated with HIV and seek medical treatment,” said Hilda Sandoval, PhD, mental health manager of HIV/AIDS services and the creator and writer of Sin Vergüenza at AltaMed.

Nearly 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV infection, and 1 in 8 is unaware of their infection, according to the CDC. Latinos represented 16 percent of the population but accounted for 23 percent of new HIV infections. This telenovela is tied to AltaMed’s HIV Care Continuum Initiative, which aligns with the National HIV/AIDS Strategy to reduce new HIV infections and improve health outcomes for people living with the virus. The second season comes at an important time of the HIV epidemic. With PrEP as one of the most effective methods to prevent HIV since the screening of HIV in blood, the series is helping to increase awareness about PrEP among Latino communities who would greatly benefit.

Sin Verguenza will be screened at Camelot Theater on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016 at 11 A.M. and at the Desert Cinema on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016 at 12 P.M. Tickets for each screening cost $13.

To learn more about AltaMed Health Services, visit: www.AltaMed.org.

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