AIDS 2014: Transmission: The Journey from AIDS to HIV

Burnet Institute

17 July, 2014


A profound film capturing the changes spanning the past three decades of Australia’s and Cambodia’s response to the AIDS epidemic premiered last tonight at the National Theatre in Melbourne.

Transmission: The journey from AIDS to HIV depicts how these two contrasting countries built their successful responses to HIV and AIDS through the personal accounts of AIDS activists and young people living with HIV in Melbourne, Sydney, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

World-renowned Swedish documentary filmmaker, Staffan Hildebrand has documented the HIV and AIDS epidemic since 1986 and has made community the key focus in the film.

“It has been fascinating and humbling to follow the journey from AIDS to HIV, still there is much work to be done in order to end HIV around the world. I’m committed to continuing the documentation, this is my personal contribution as an HIV activist,” Mr Hildebrand said.

Young Melbourne actor, Sebastian Robinson was interviewed for the film on World AIDS Day 2013 as part of his role in The Death of Kings, a play focusing on the lives of gay men living in Sydney in the 1980s.

During the play’s run in Sydney during Mardi Gras in February this year, he returned a positive HIV test.

“I am lucky in that I have access to medical support, the only thing that remains to deal with is stigma so I have to speak out,” Mr Robertson said.

Burnet Institute Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb said Transmission is an incredibly powerful record of Australia’s successes and failures in response to HIV.

“History is bound to repeat itself if it’s not remembered. This longitudinal look at HIV and AIDS is an incredibly powerful means in which to record the epidemic,” Professor Crabb said.

Transmission Executive Producer and Executive Director of Pacific Friends of The Global Fund, Bill Bowtell AO said Transmission is a moving and compelling account of how young people have met the challenges of HIV in 2014.

“Staffan transmits the stories of the early days if AIDS to a new generation of young people living with HIV – inspirational and charming in every way, Mr Bowtell said.

Transmission: A Journey From AIDS to HIV is a Face of AIDS Production in association with Pacific Friends of The Global Fund and Burnet Institute.

You can watch the entire film below.

CLICK HERE to see an interview with Director Staffan Hildebrand and Sebastian Robinson from ABC News Breakfast.

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Paul Rathbone

Head, Public Affairs & Development; Executive Officer; Government Relations


+613 9282 2113


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