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5B (Documentary Film)

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Nov 13, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
NCC Campus N12 Multipurpose Center (Multipurpose Center)
250 Sierra College Dr., Grass Valley, CA 95945
Joan Merriam, Faculty Coordinator, jmerriam@sierracollege.edu

Event Details

This film is a documentary about the creation of the nation’s first AIDS ward at San Francisco General Hospital in the 1980s, at the height of the AIDS epidemic.

At a time when hospitals were turning away persons suffering from AIDS because they didn't want to be known as "the AIDS hospital," a cadre of nurses at San Francisco General fought to open the first AIDS ward in the country, Ward 5B, which began operation in July of 1983.

The focus on touch set this ward apart: health experts knew by then that AIDS was not transmitted casually, but before Ward 5B, employees had to don gowns, gloves and masks before entering the rooms of persons with AIDS. The Ward 5B nurses defied this convention, and decided that even though they couldn’t cure their patients, they could touch them and treat them with human compassion.

The story is told through first-person testimony of the nurses and healthcare professionals who envisioned and ran the ward, and the many patients they helped through their innovative approach to patient care—which ultimately became the standard for healthcare professionals throughout the world in the care and treatment of HIV/AIDS patients.

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