Mount Sinai Documentary Tells Story of HIV/AIDS Epidemic Through Lens of Patients, Caregivers
// By Althea Fung //
More than 100,000 New Yorkers have died of AIDS, according to the New York City AIDS Memorial. About 1.2 million people in the United States live with HIV. One New Yorker and his family have made a huge difference to patients with HIV. The Peter Krueger Clinic at Mount Sinai Beth Israel connects patients to clinical care, social work, social services, and community resources.
People living with HIV live longer, healthier lives when regularly taking antiretroviral medication. But a few decades ago, the fear and judgment for those who contracted this deadly disease were high. Recently a team of health care professionals at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City created a documentary to chronicle the experiences of patients and staff in a unique outpatient clinic.
“There was a film about San Francisco General’s AIDS ward that one of our nurses saw, and it was great,” says Matthew Baney, senior director at the Institute for Advanced Medicine at Mount Sinai Health System. In 2018, filmmakers Paul Haggis and Dan Krauss directed the documentary film 5B about the nurses and caregivers that opened the world’s first HIV/AIDS ward at San Francisco General Hospital. The film was acquired by Verizon Media and later shown at the San Francisco Doc Stories film festival and Cannes Film Festival.
“[Our nurse] had the idea: What about an oral history of the Peter Krueger Clinic? I totally supported the idea. It’s a totally different environment — that was an inpatient clinic, we’re an outpatient program,” Baney says.
The oral history became a documentary film, From Darkness to Light.