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Witness
Surviving Aids
A look at young people trying to turn back the tide of drugs and HIV/Aids in Kaliningrad.
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2010 08:25 GMT

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Filmmaker: Maxime Mardoukhaev and Richard Setbon 

When the Iron Curtain fell in 1991, it was not just shiny consumer goods and free-market ideas that came flooding over the newly opened borders.

The uglier side of the capitalist world also swept in including drug addiction, crime, poverty and HIV/Aids.

The disease spread rapidly across Russia, leaving a wake of devastation. And it was often young people, teenagers at the time of the transition from socialism to capitalism, who fell victim to the seductive drug culture that swept into their city when the Iron Curtain was lifted.

Sergei, Oxana, Sasha and Denis and their peers are perhaps some of the 'lost generation' of Kaliningrad.

Now HIV positive and in a country with little support or sympathy for drug addicts and people with Aids, Sergei and his colleagues are trying to turn back the tide of HIV/Aids and bring hope to those devastated by the disease.

Surviving Aids: The Story of Sergei takes us to the city of Kaliningrad to see the effects of this crisis up close.

The film introduces a range of characters, from addicts, homeless youngsters and women forced into prostitution, to survivors, health workers and a range of people who are fighting the double-hitter of drugs and HIV/Aids.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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