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Author Topic: Fire In The Blood: Documentary  (Read 1808 times)

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Offline spacebarsux

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Fire In The Blood: Documentary
« on: January 23, 2013, 04:30:22 AM »
Has anyone seen it?

Sounds very interesting. I'm going to keep an eye out for it.

Fire In The Blood quite simply makes for stark, sobering, moving and ultimately shocking viewing. It offers little new in terms of tracing the evolution of HIV treatment and how anti-retroviral breakthroughs have saved lives, but bluntly and passionately points out that AIDs medication is made unavailable to the poor of the developing world, and in Africa and India in particular.


Fire In The Blood is a smartly film made that hits all of the rights notes.

Dylan Mohan Gray’s impressive film avoids simplistic political rhetoric – when it would have been an easy route to take – and simply presents the dreadful truth…that two thirds of all AIDs cases are in Africa, and that the West (and the major pharmaceutical companies in particular) turned their backs on the continent, with HIV and AIDs increasingly seen as old news.

The are some stark facts on view – that drugs giant Pfizier in 2000 made $1 billion a year from sales of the anti-retroviral drug Fluconazole at $40 a tablet…and that in Africa the average weekly wage was $68 – and much debate on how patents laws had been used to keep prices high.

Talking heads are used prudently and impressively (such as for Pfizer VP Peter Root who bluntly says that multinationals run the US), though rather hope and illumination comes from a few real heroes who are making a stand and changing the playing-field.

People such as Yusuf Hamied, the Indian scientist behind the socially conscious pharmaceutical manufacturer Cipla; James P. Love, an American intellectual property activist; Dr. Peter Mugyenyi, head of the largest HIV treatment and research centre in Uganda; former US President Bill Clinton; and Zackie Achmat, a South African AIDS activist, are striking, charismatic and provocative in their stance and their arguments, with Hamied a clear and lucid voice. This is backed up by New York Times writer Donald McNeil who interviewed and profiled him.

But despite Hamied’s plans to offer drugs at much lower prices the product is still expensive to some African countries, where patent laws also block generic drugs available from other non-Western countries.  What the film emphasises – and has been said in films many times before – is the power and influence of the big pharmaceutical companies.

It is a film that offers glimpse of hope, but makes no bones that the situation is still awful…despite the stark truth that drugs are cheap enough to be distributed. As and Zackie Achmat comments about the campaigns against the pharmaceutical companies in South Africa: “The rich world didn’t care till poor people mobilised.”

Fire In The Blood is a smartly film made that hits all of the rights notes – intellectually and emotionally – making good use of Ashutosh Phatak’s gentle music, and while perhaps a hard one to sell to formal theatrical distribution it is a film with a vital message and likely to find festival and broadcast interest where publicity support will be strong.


Link: http://www.screendaily.com/reviews/the-latest/fire-in-the-blood/5050933.article?blocktitle=Latest-Reviews&contentID=1479
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline Ann

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Re: Fire In The Blood: Documentary
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2013, 06:54:03 AM »
This article didn't "hit all the right notes intellectually" for me when it claimed that fluconazole is an antiretroviral - it's an antifungal and it goes for a helluva lot less than $40 per tablet. It's also widely available as a generic.

Or am I just being pedantic? (or nasty, catty and bitchy?)

Sounds like a good film despite the poor research on the part of the film critic. At least I hope it was the film critic's mistake and not one that actually appears in the film.
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Offline Mrmojorisin

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Re: Fire In The Blood: Documentary
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2013, 08:57:13 AM »
This article didn't "hit all the right notes intellectually" for me when it claimed that fluconazole is an antiretroviral - it's an antifungal and it goes for a helluva lot less than $40 per tablet. It's also widely available as a generic.

Or am I just being pedantic? (or nasty, catty and bitchy?)

Sounds like a good film despite the poor research on the part of the film critic. At least I hope it was the film critic's mistake and not one that actually appears in the film.
I thought the same thing reading this, a simple google search before publishing should have been done...
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Offline darryaz

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Re: Fire In The Blood: Documentary
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 09:17:16 AM »
it's an antifungal and it goes for a helluva lot less than $40 per tablet. It's also widely available as a generic.

I noticed this too.  I looked at one of my receipts and retail for generic 200mg (I take a fairly high dose) fluconazole is roughly $8 per tablet.

Online buginme2

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Re: Fire In The Blood: Documentary
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2013, 03:41:40 PM »
It's an important topic, I hope the film is able to capture the importance and offer some answers. 

There has been some progress with PEPFAR and the work from many foundations such as the Clinton Initiative, Gates foundation, etc.

However, we still see almost daily the inadequacies here in these forums.  Westerners (I will include myself in this and hope to do better) take up time squabbling about what meds we are taking.  Does Atripla have more side effects than Complera and so on.  While there are many posting from India, Africa, and some Asian countries who either don't have access to meds, or are taking combinations that are no longer offered in many resource rich countries (such as azt, ddi, and others).  Even when medication is offered people must often delay until their c4 levels drop to the 200 range while the US has moved to treating everyone regardless of cd4. 

There has been progress again with PEPFAR and some work by foundations and such which should be acknowledged.  More work is still needed though.
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Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Fire In The Blood: Documentary
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2013, 04:31:25 PM »
It's an important topic, I hope the film is able to capture the importance and offer some answers. 

There has been some progress with PEPFAR and the work from many foundations such as the Clinton Initiative, Gates foundation, etc.

However, we still see almost daily the inadequacies here in these forums.  Westerners (I will include myself in this and hope to do better) take up time squabbling about what meds we are taking.  Does Atripla have more side effects than Complera and so on.  While there are many posting from India, Africa, and some Asian countries who either don't have access to meds, or are taking combinations that are no longer offered in many resource rich countries (such as azt, ddi, and others).  Even when medication is offered people must often delay until their c4 levels drop to the 200 range while the US has moved to treating everyone regardless of cd4. 

There has been progress again with PEPFAR and some work by foundations and such which should be acknowledged.  More work is still needed though.

This is one of the factors that makes me seem harsh to posters discussing changing meds on a whim. At the risk of being once more called a grandmother who discussed depression-era stuff, it would behoove us Westerners to adopt just the slightest sense of gratitude that we have so many choices now.

The whole "there are kids in India who would love to have your problems" argument is actually pretty valid when you have those SAME KIDS reading the posts and trying to integrate into an online community.



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Offline mecch

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Re: Fire In The Blood: Documentary
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2013, 05:00:13 PM »
There are many times understanding HIV/AIDS means holding seemingly contradicting facts, and arguments, in the mind at the same time.
This looks like a very interesting documentary. And if it tells the story of the 80's and 90's, that's a value.  The IMDB web site suggests its mostly an exploration of big pharma, so I guess maybe it wont also go into South Africa's disastrous denialism. Which always seemed to me to be intricately related to first world, second world, third world imbalances. 

No documentary can cover all the angles. If this one doesn't manage to report the current situation, with all the progress very recently made, that's fine, as long as people understand whats history and whats current.  Never easy, with this epidemic.
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Offline spacebarsux

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Re: Fire In The Blood: Documentary
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2013, 12:05:56 AM »
Indian Govt hospitals, who cater to the majority of poz people (most of whom happen to be poor, and I mean 'poor by Indian standards') dispense an outdated combination of drugs. And not just that, but they have these drug dispensation centres in large cities and towns only. So say someone is diagnosed positive in a rural part, they would then need to travel miles to the nearest ARV dispensation centre for getting meds and also for monitoring their CD4 etc. The poorest of the poor tend to simply 'drop out' of this system as they simply can't afford such frequent bus trips.

Private hospitals don't give a fuck. They make enough money from rich Indians and other people who come from all over the world for surgeries and procedures as they cost a fraction of what they would in the US or Europe.

Great strides have been made by NACO (National AIDS Control Organisation) in expanding the net to remote areas. It is also in the pipeline that the Govt would start supplying more modern drugs to HIV+ people, but as with all things India takes its own sweet time.

India has become the epicentre of the battle between Patent rights/ IP right defendants and generic drug companies (who supply to Africa and other parts of Asia) /advocates. An important decision of the Indian supreme court is awaited in this respect, I think. A lot of fates hinge on this.

Video link on the movie: http://www.democracynow.org/2013/1/23/fire_in_the_blood_millions_die

Edite- the link contains an excerpt of a trailer of the movie as well as an interview of the filmmaker.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 12:19:31 AM by spacebarsux »
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

 


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