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Sundance acquires rights to controversial AIDS film (14833)

14833Health News2005-01-19

Sundance acquires rights to controversial AIDS film

The Sundance Channel has acquired broadcast rights to the controversial documentary The Origins of AIDS, which examines the theory that HIV was inadvertently introduced into humans via polio vaccines in Africa in the late 1950s. The film, directed by Peter Chappell and Catherine Peix, will debut on the channel at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific on February 7, and is set to air again at 5 p.m. February 8, 11:30 a.m. February 12, 1 p.m. February 14, and 2:30 p.m. February 20. Scientists have theorized that HIV was introduced to humans via chimpanzees, who carry a similar virus, the simian immunodeficiency virus. Most researchers believe the virus jumped from chimps to humans through the slaughtering of the animals for food or by eating infected chimpanzee meat. The Origins of AIDS examines the theory--and the reaction to it in AIDS research circles--that blood and tissue products taken from chimpanzees to mass-produce oral polio vaccines for use in Africa passed the virus into humans.

The Origins of AIDS has received several awards, including the Silver Hugo for Documentary: Science/Nature at the 2004 Chicago International Television Awards and the Rockie Award for Best Popular Science and Natural History Program at the 2004 Banff Television Festival. For more information about the documentary or the Sundance Channel, go online to

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