Soul Food to Air HIV/AIDS-themed Episode this Wednesday


Music Lover
Subject: Soul Food to Air HIV/AIDS-themed Episode this Wednesday

A recent front page article in the New York Times drew attention to
the growing concern about HIV/AIDS among African America women,
who represent the majority of new HIV infections among women in
the United States, and how an increasing proportion are being
infected through heterosexual transmission. According to data
from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2001 an
estimated 67% of AIDS diagnoses among black women were due to
heterosexual sex, up from 58% only four years earlier. Part of
the challenge, say AIDS experts, are the numbers of African
American men having sex with men as well as women, so called
men on the "down low."

On Wednesday, April 14th at 10 p.m. ET / PT, the Showtime series
Soul Food takes on this tough issue as it hits close to home for
the four sisters.

In the episode, "Angelitos Negros," Maxine (Vanessa Williams)
throws husband Kenny (Rockmond Dunbar) a surprise birthday
party and his brother Kelvin, played by F. Hill Harper ("City
of Angels," "The Handler"), comes to town to join in the
festivities. During his visit, Kelvin discloses that he is
HIV positive. As the two brothers struggle to connect and
help one another through this difficult time, Kelvin opens
up and confides that not only is he afraid he's going to die,
but he is also wracked with guilt about the ruined lives of
the women he has infected. Learning about Kelvin's HIV
status prompts a discussion among the female characters about
what HIV means among African Americans and their own
personal experiences.

Cast member Vanessa Williams provides commentary about HIV
in the African American community.

This episode was produced as part of an ongoing public education
partnership being conducted by Showtime's parent company,
Viacom Inc., and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
KNOW HIV/AIDS is an unprecedented effort that combats HIV/AIDS
through public service messages (PSAs), television and radio
programming, and free print and online content. Soul Food
writers and producers participated in background briefings
on HIV/AIDS conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and
the LA-based Media Project as part of the initiative.

Soul Food is a Waterwalk Production, Edmonds Entertainment
and State Street Pictures production in association with
Paramount Network Television. Season five of Soul Food is
executive produced by Tracey E. Edmonds, Kenneth "Babyface"
Edmonds, George Tillman, Jr., Robert Teitel, Salim Akil and
Kathleen McGhee-Anderson.