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November 20, 2008

Positive Film Extra Recounts Philadelphia Experience

With this year marking the 15th anniversary of the groundbreaking film Philadelphia and 20th anniversary of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, HIV-positive movie extra Sue Kehler spoke with The Philadelphia Inquirer about her life with the virus, experience on the film and memories of those who lost their battle with the virus.

Kehler credits the 1993 film—which earned Tom Hanks an Oscar for his role as a gay lawyer who dies of AIDS—as her opportunity to stop hiding her status and leave an abusive relationship with a man who gave her the virus.

In the interview, she also remembers others with HIV dying around her. “It was selfish, but I would be thinking, ‘Oh, no, am I next?’” says Kehler, who has been positive for 19 years.

Kehler will join Philadelphia’s Academy Award–winning director Jonathan Demme in a panel discussion moderated by author/screenwriter/saxophonist James McBride during the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania’s anniversary gala. The Law Project is the nation’s only independent public-interest law firm exclusively dedicated to serving people with HIV/AIDS.

Search: Tom Hanks, Philadelphia, AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, Jonathan Demme,

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