The Johns Hopkins Center for AIDS Research, the Gupta-Klinsky India Institute and the Center for Infectious Diseases in India are presenting an in-person special screening of the documentary Lovesick, with a reception following, in the Becton-Dickinson Lecture Hall at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The film is a feature about Dr. Suniti Solomon, the mother of Dr. Sunil Solomon, assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases. Dr. Suniti Solomon identified India’s first case of HIV, and then founded one of India’s first HIV/AIDS clinics, and found herself in the unlikely role of matchmaker.
Across the world, over 36 million people live with HIV, many in places where HIV/AIDS is unspeakable. So, how do you find love and marriage when you are HIV+? In 1986, Dr. Suniti Solomon discovered India’s first case of HIV, but without medicines, she could only console patients who “other doctors weren’t even willing to touch.” She quit her prestigious academic post in microbiology and founded YRG CARE, one of India’s first HIV/AIDS clinics.
Back then, HIV was a death sentence. Today, thanks to affordable generic drugs, Dr. Solomon’s patients live longer, healthier lives – and, like all young Indians, face the pressure to marry. At 72, in the twilight of her career, Dr. Solomon finds herself in a new role: marriage matchmaker.
Lovesick interweaves Dr. Solomon’s unconventional personal and professional journeys with the lives of two patients: Karthik, a reticent bachelor, and Manu, a bubbly IT professional who, like many women in India, was infected by her first husband. As Karthik and Manu search for love, they learn how to survive under the shadow of HIV.
Eight years in the making, Lovesick is a surprising portrait of modern love in the age of AIDS.