Wilhemina's War: A Grandmother Fights the AIDS Epidemic

The Takeaway

Click on the audio player above to hear this interview.

These days, many Americans believe that HIV is no longer a death sentence—many view it as a long-term, manageable disease.

That may be true for those with a strong support systems and access to quality healthcare, but this is not the case for a number of people, including those in the black community.

About 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with HIV every year, and nearly half of them live in the South. For black women in rural communities, the deadly virus is one of the leading causes of death.

According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "African Americans have the most severe burden of HIV of all racial/ethnic groups in the United States."

This disparity has been true since the beginning, but has grown over the last decade. June Cross is a documentary television and film producer, and her new film "Wilhemina's War," explores the epidemic where it's particularly acute: The rural south.

"Wilhemina's War" airs Monday, February 29th on PBS' Independent Lens. 

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