April / May #1 : Asian Denial - by Casey Davidson

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Table of Contents

Ty Ross Comes Clean

Update: Tom Keane

Asian Denial


Touch Me, Heal Me

What's AIDS got to do with it?


The HIV Beltway

GMHC Goes for a Ride

Things are Looking Up

NIH Names Head of AIDS Research

Voila! AIDS as Art

Philly, the Sequel?

Living Proof


One Voice

MAC to Pass PCP Soon

What Next?

Randy Shilts Dies at 42

Bob Hattoy, On The Record



Alternative Health

Holistic Turnaround

The Sunshine Boys

The Arts



Revis On Top

Eat It, Beat It

HIV Testing Requirements for Entry Into Foreign Countries

HIV Standard of Care

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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April / May 1994

Asian Denial

by Casey Davidson

Christine Choy's AIDS film breaks the silence

Two years ago, documentary filmmaker Christine Choy knew so little about AIDS that after she invited someone wit HIV into her home for dinner, she raced to the phone to ask friends whether she needed to boil the plates he used. "I was ignorant about AIDS just like most Asian-Americans," she says.

Now her sense of outrage about the disease and the U.S. government’s reaction to it is fully fueled because of her own experience battling to get a documentary film made about two HIV positive Asian-Americans.

Choy, 38, is a toothpick thin woman who talks nonstop while smoking one puff at a time, snuffing out each butt over and over and then relighting it. She looks waif-like, but, my, how appearances deceive. Choy’s strength lies in her resolve. At 14, she emigrated from China to the United States alone. Since then, Choy has successfully battled breast cancer and raised two children (one 19, and the other five months). She’s a professor of film at New York University and is now taking on the Asian-American community who, she says, would rather pretend AIDS doesn’t exist.

The film, tentatively titled Out of the Silence, was just released in New York City. But kick starting the project was unbelievably tough because Choy couldn’t find any HIV positive Asian-Americans who would talk to her.

"In Asia, if you have cancer, doctors don’t tell the patient, they tell the family. There are certain cultural elements, and the whole notion is to be silent. But silence can kill you."

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