Originally published on Advocate.com June 17 2004 12:00 AM ET
India's Bollywood film industry is tackling AIDS for the first time with a film due for release in late June, Agence France-Presse reports. The film, titled Phir Milenge (We Will Meet Again), stars Salman Khan, a popular box office star known for his primarily tough-guy roles. Director Revathi says no Indian film star was initially interested in accepting the role played by Khan, but noted that the actor took the part as a personal favor to the director. "I'm happy to be part of this project that will highlight the dangers of this disease," Khan told Agence France-Presse. "Our cinema must highlight such issues for society to understand how dreadful this disease can be." The movie is the first mainstream Hindi-language film to address AIDS. The Indian National AIDS Control Organization estimates that more than 4.5 million Indians are HIV-positive, a number second only to South Africa, which has the world's largest number of HIV-positive residents.