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Endgame is a public documentary that brings into light the state of HIV endemic among the Black American community. It is a frontline documentary that explores why HIV is more prevalent among the Black Americans than the whites. In the film, Renata Simone explores 1986 statistics indicating that 20% of the people living with HIV then were of African origin. Sadly, the recent findings of Center of Disease Control (CDC) reveal that 45% of new HIV cases are of African-American origin. The film provides a broad view of how social, political, and cultural factors contribute to the AIDS epidemic. Therefor, the question is whether HIV epidemic will ever end.
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Certainly, the magnitude of the HIV spread coupled with its virulence and a rapid rate of spread across the globe makes the strive to end it futile. The health department and the disease control centers engage in continuous researches geared towards controlling the disease. Although the pursuit of zero-HIV campaigns by the World Health Organization (WHO) remains a mirage, it is worth continuing. However, the efforts to curb the virulence and severity of this epidemic have brought significant results with the invention of Anti-Retroviral (ARVs) drugs. The health professionals are now able to maintain optimal health of the patients, but the drug regimen fails exhaustively to respond to the spread of the disease.
Endgame film supports this assertion mentioning multifaceted causative and the socio-political factors that further make the projection of stopping this killer disease. The film was shot in the church, night clubs, public health facilities, and high school classrooms. The most relevant episodes include scenarios where there are personal stories of children born with the virus. Unfortunately, such innocent young children are subjected to this unforgiving eventuality. It, therefore, brings a situation where the disease spreads from parents and poses a serious challenge to the global goal of stopping the spread.
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Sadly, today, many people living with HIV are not aware of their status. With the rampant sexual activities among the high school and college students, night clubs as depicted by interviews in the film with AIDS educator’s as a factor contributing to the new cases of HIV. There is a reduction in upholding religious values of abstinence from premarital sex and faithfulness among couples. The cultural dynamics as revealed by Fullilove in the film complicates the move to eradicate the disease.
In the film, African-American population was entangled in the war on drugs in the 1980s and the 1990s. The majority of African-Americans were incarcerated and suffered prejudice on the equality in addressing the distribution of drugs. Although harm reduction centers existed, the Blacks did not have access to them because of their geographic location. Basing on the racial segregation of the 1980s and 1990s, the war against endemic will not be won. Again, the internal cultural and social factors in African-American community contributed a great deal to the spreadof HIV. A large number of sexually active persons being taken out of the community affected mating behavior, and so does it today. In the film, there is an interesting view that with high mobility in African-American community, the competition for men as well as the spread of HIVgreatly increased; these issues are still present. In the wake of increased career activities and separation of couples, extramarital affairs have become the norm thus predisposing couples to HIV because of the multiplicity of sexual partners.
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Today, the same factors stand in the way of the fight against HIV pandemic. Although the access to health services and drugs has been enhanced across all races in the United States, stigma still haunts the eradication of the disease. For a disease to be arrested, it calls on joined efforts across the globe and personal responsibility of everyone. It is untenable due to cultural, social, and political nature that is unique to each country. There should be more funding on special programs addressing the issue; however, this will not eradicate the epidemic.
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