How Aids Changed America

Publish Date: 21/11/2008

Paul Michael GlaserMade in Manchester Productions' has been commissioned to make a special documentary to mark the 20th anniversary of the first World Aids Day.

How Aids Changed America will be presented by US actor Paul Michael Glaser and will air on BBC Radio 2 at 10.30pm on December 2nd. Mr Glaser, who played Starsky in the long running US cop series Starsky and Hutch will look back at nearly three decades of pain, prejudice and progress in the American peoples' struggle with HIV and Aids.

Creative Director of Made in Manchester Productions, and presenter of BBC Radio Manchester's LGBT programme the Gay Hour, Ashley Byrne, said: 'Paul's life was turned upside down by the epedemic when his wife Elizabeth contracted the virus through a blood transfusion. Both his wife and daughter later died of an Aids-related illness.

'Through archive, some of it collected by former Washington Post journalist John-Manuel Andriote, as well as new interviews, How Aids Changed America examines how the crisis really did change attitudes.'

The documentary will examine the pain - from the heady disco days of pre-Aids San Francisco through the arrival of Aids on the gay scene, and how citizen after citizen was suddenly struck down by this mysterious new illness.

It charts the prejudice - how the illness was misunderstood in the early years and how the US establishment struggled to come to terms with what was happening.

The documentary also looks at the progress - greater awareness and acceptance of people with the virus, and the emergence of life-extending drugs.

Finally, it looks at Aids in 2008 and examines whether or not Aids, which has claimed the lives of more than half a million US citizens, really has changed American life, culture, and society.

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