Story Publication logo December 7, 2014

HIV - The True Story


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A scientific detective story that crisscrosses the globe, tracing the origins of HIV and its lessons...

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Since its discovery in the 1980s, HIV has puzzled scientists. Where did the virus come from? And how did it develop into the worst pandemic of our time? In the past, there were many mysteries and theories surrounding its origins. A group of researchers from Belgium, the USA and the Congo embarks on a journey back to the beginning of AIDS – in search of the answer to one of the most pressing issues of our time: how do pandemics arise and how can they be prevented in the future?

Chapters include:

1. The bloody truth

Make an interactive journey to discover the roots of AIDS.

Follow in the footsteps of the research team and discover the most important stages that have influenced the development of AIDS in its more than 100-year history. What factors contributed to the emergence of the global HIV pandemic? What is the relationship between the actions of the European colonial powers in Central Africa and the emergence of AIDS?

2. What lessons can be learned from HIV?

Why do we need to understand the early history of HIV? Professor Michael Worobey tells us how HIV could be of assistance to us in future.

3. Why waiting kills

Sir Peter Piot recalls the early 1980s, when hesitation on the part of the world community cost countless lives.

4. Can history repeat itself?

How do pathogens spill over from animals to human beings, as in the case of HIV? And is it still happening today? The Cameroonian physician Eitel Mpoudi Ngole reports.

5. Early warning system

If it is clear that transmission from animals to humans can still happen at any time, what can the world community do about it? Professor Eric Delaporte on the possible solutions.

6. The transmission model

Martine Peeters investigates how pathogens migrate from their original animal host to human beings and why this is so dangerous.

7. Online Discussion with the film writer

Carl Gierstorfer will be available for questions, reactions and comments on the subject of "Aids – a legacy of colonialism" from Friday 28 November (10 pm) to Sunday 20 November on the website.

View the full version of this story at Arte here.


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