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Meet a Stem Cell Patient on the Front Lines for Finding an HIV Cure

Ending Disease

A new docuseries, Ending Disease, is giving a human face in the fight to cure HIV.

Andrew, who is HIV-positive, is part of a clinical trial using stem cell research for this purpose. He is one of 10 patients — others have cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, paralysis, and blindness — followed in Ending Disease, which shows how a revolution in medicine is tackling some of humanity's most vexing illnesses and conditions.

In the exclusive clip below, Andrew discusses why he is participating in the trial. "This was my opportunity to do something bigger than myself ... to do something that could potentially save thousands of lives in the future," he said. "It's not scary. I feel like it's important for there to be a cure."

To The Advocate, Andrew expressed how he hopes his journey impacts viewers' understanding of people living with HIV. "I really hope by sharing my experience with this medical study, it puts a face and a person with a virus that is still so stigmatized, even within our own community," he said.

"People living with HIV are somebody's child. We are somebody's sibling. Somebody's friend. We are all deserving of compassion, love, and care. I’m incredibly fortunate to have the support and care that I do, and I hope my experience inspires others to be more caring and compassionate as well."

"I also hope that it inspires those living with HIV to keep faith that there will one day be a cure," he added. "Stem cell research really is the next frontier in medicine, and I hope this experience can shed more light on the research being done to help treat and cure HIV along with other chronic or degenerative illnesses."

Ending Disease, directed by Emmy winner Joe Gantz (Taxicab Confessions), tells the stories of doctors and patients like Andrew in order to illustrate both medical breakthroughs and personal struggles with illness.

Watch the clip below, and catch Ending Disease on virtual cinema December 4.

Tags: film, HIV

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