Watched the latest Dluquer Salman starrer ‘Charlie’ yesterday. Of course, a feel-good movie!

This is to point out a factual error in the movie. The character played by Kalpana is living with HIV and the hero takes her to the sea on a boat at midnight to celebrate her birthday which he thinks will make her happy and cared. Later, he shares her story with the owner of the boat and says that there is no medicine/treatment for HIV. This is not true. Being diagnosed with HIV doesn‘t mean that it is the end of everything. By getting linked to HIV medical care early, starting antiretroviral therapy (ART), adhering to medication and staying in care; those infected with HIV can live a longer, healthier and meaningful life.

The Government of India is providing free antiretroviral therapy through 500+ ART centres across the country. Such centres, branded as ‘Ushus’ are established in all Government Medical Colleges and major District Hospitals across Kerala as well. This is a life-long treatment. In order to provide continued care and support to People living with HIV, Care & Support Centres (CSC) have also been set up by networks of people living with HIV/AIDS in all districts and attached to the government treatment centres.

It is unfortunate that Kalpana’s character commits suicide jumping into the sea, immediately after the birthday celebration. HIV should no longer be a reason for someone to end his or her life. Cinema attracts people from all age groups and different walks of life. Therefore, filmmakers should ensure that right messages are being conveyed through this medium.



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