October 17, 2005

Update on HBO Documentary...

it wasn't SHOCKED, it was Smashed...

here's the link to the show ...

I finally finished watching this weekend. It was so sad and amazing. The brat Timmy though (the young one that hit a tree driving ATV after drinking) was back up to his old tricks again by the end of the show. Um, Hello? Did you not get the message the first time? He will never fully recover from the brain-damage he inflicted on himself the first time, now he's drinking and riding ATVs again. I couldn't even understand him fully when he was justifying to his mom, saying how now that he knows his limits, he can drink and drive safely. Positively revolting. And Mom & Dad? BTW, it is possible to get rid of his ATV for him or take away some stuff or not let him go out and drink - he IS still under 18 and living in your house. At least please try to fix the problem and not just let him go do stupid crap and whine about it!

I saw a new documentary about the AIDS epidemic. This was also on HBO. It is called Pandemic: Facing AIDS - Russia". Apparently it is one in a series of 6, filmed by Rory Kennedy and funded by Bill Gates. It is amazing. In this episode, we meet Lena and Sergi. They were drug addicts. Lena gets pregnant and manages to stay clean while pregnant. A short while after the baby is born, a "friend" brings over some heroin and they spiral back down. Lena, unable and/or unwilling to care for her tiny son, leaves him w/her mother. They continue to do drugs and BOTH contract AIDS.

What they find most healing for themselves, is working now as AIDS Activists. Spreading information about how AIDS is contracted, to try and slow the spread of the disease. This is a wonderful cause. Sergi goes to the doctor and finds out he needs treatment now, and WITH the treatment, he can expect to go "full-blown" in about 1 year, 2 max. He claims to be sad that he won't see his son grow up. This is the first we see of Sergi acknowledging that he even HAS a son.

Lena visits her mother - and of course they get in a fight. Her mother says it would be nice if Sergi would bother to send money and food to help care for the toddler (he is adorable). Lena says he won't as long as he isn't allowed to see his son. (which to me is ridiculous - the boy needs to be supported whether or not Sergi gets to see him, if he was a good man he'd send money regardless).

When Sergi returns to the DR to start treatment, he finds the hospital has been closed due to lack of funds. The speaker points out that even though Russia's policy is that all AIDS patients are guarenteed care, the budget only allows for 600 patients. There are currently 1 million people living with HIV in Russia.

Yes it was eye-opening. But really just disgusted me more w/Lena and Sergi for the abandonment of their son, more than anything else. Yes, AIDS is a problem. Though it is a problem they gave themselves thru their drug use. I have never been a drug addict, so of course it is easy for me to criticize, but I would think...now that they are CLEAN, they would be wanting to spend as much time w/their son as they could and working to make sure he had money left to him for his care since they surely won't be around much longer. Nope. At the end, they were being allowed weekend visits with him, which is good. But for me, it is never enough where children are concerned.

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