In recognition of World AIDS Day, Africare, together with Abbott Labs, hosted a viewing and discussion of “Together We Can!” a documentary that aims to show a comprehensive approach to HIV/AIDS through the inspiring story of Ophelia Haanyama Ørum, an HIV/AIDS activist and author.
Born and raised in Zambia, Ophelia, who attended the event and introduced the documentary, immigrated to Sweden in 1991. A doctor’s call during her second pregnancy informed her that she was HIV positive. The documentary tells of her experiences in both Africa and Sweden as a woman living with HIV/AIDS, her personal battle with the disease and her journey from hopelessness to strength.
Thirty-three million people today are living with HIV. In 2007, 2.5 million people were infected, and 2.1 million died of AIDS-related causes. Though the figures are high, the unified global AIDS response has brought significant progress toward slowing the spread of HIV.
“Today we recognize that there are still more than 33 million people worldwide whose lives have been touched by HIV,” Jeannine Scott, Senior Vice President of Africare remarked. “Indeed our work continues. But our efforts, when combined, make us stronger.”
Congressman Elijah Cummings gave the opening remarks, and award-winning journalist and radio host, Michel Martin, was the moderator at the event that was attended by over 200 people. At the end of the viewing Ms. Ørum answered questions by the audience.