Could we be on the cusp of the first AIDS-free generation? That's the question pondered in a new special report documentary produced by HBO and Vice that looks at revolutionary medical breakthroughs and challenges that remain in ending HIV/AIDS worldwide in decades. Ranging from high-tech American labs — where the DNA of HIV-positive patients is being edited to resist the virus —to South African clinics that are participating in the largest vaccine trial in history, Vice Special Report: Countdown to Zero goes inside the search for the cure and a preventative vaccine that could eliminate AIDS.
Hosted by Vice founders and correspondents Shane Smith and Suroosh Alvi, the doc features interviews with policymakers, activists, researchers, and patients leading the quest for an AIDS-free world. Smith also interviews President George W. Bush at the Bush Institute on SMU’s campus in Dallas to discuss the success of the United States-led PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) initiative. Alvi travels to Rwanda with U2's Bono to see PEPFAR in action. In the country, rates have been cut in half and mother-to-child HIV transmission is completely eliminated in some regions.
Vice also travels to San Francisco and Indiana, the front lines of the fight against HIV/AIDS in the United States, to bring attention to the work that still needs to be done and to highlight why, despite the progress to date, the fight is not over yet.
“As with our specials on prison reform and fighting cancer this year, Shane and his team at Vice are shining a light on a major social issue of this era,” Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming, said in a statement. “Vice is passionate about the stories they tell, and we are grateful we can translate that energy into raising awareness of this epidemic to our audience and beyond.”
Vice Special Report: Countdown to Zero debuts Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT). Watch the promo video below: