T here's a new film in Syracuse telling the story of a 16-year-old African American girl learning she has H-I-V. It's a powerful story that was shared on Thursday night with the public at the Southwest Community Center.
It's called "Love Don't Live Here." It start Bilaya Jackson who also wrote the film. It depicts poverty in Syracuse and shares a startling fact, one in thirty African American women will be infected with HIV in their lifetime.
The film is only four minutes and thirty seconds, but this short film written by Bilaya Jackson carries a big message. "It can be anybody, the person doesn't have to look ill, they can be anybody," says Jackson.
Neighbors were able to see this film, which was produced and shot exclusively in Syracuse. "It affects the youth and I don't think people realize that and I just wanted to give them a familiar face that they can identify with," says Jackson.
Jay Fulton shot and edited the film. He also directed it. What makes this movie him home is how HIV/AIDS is real, it happens. "It's starting to become like more people I see around like lady right there, I didn't even know she had it and I was sitting right there and I didn't even know," says Fulton.
After the film dozens of neighbors were educated on ways to prevent HIV/AIDS, such as the importance of knowing your partners sexual history as well as where they can go to be tested and where they can find contraceptives. The Southwest Community Center says they have condoms for anyone who needs them.
M any neighbors feel educating the community, especially children , on the realities of HIV/AIDS is necessary here in Syracuse.
Syracuse has seen a recent increase in state funding for housing of neighbors with HIV/AIDS. This is one reasons Ronald Dennis came to this meeting. He hoped to voice his concerns to his community. "P eople and uneducated about HIV and AIDS. They think that you contract it a certain way and that's not true, so people need to be educated so they know and wrap it up ," says Dennis.
Jackson already has plans for a second movie, based on the same topic as a way to continue to educate her community.