International Humanitarian Organization Partners with HBO to Promote HIV/AIDS Awareness through Film The Normal Heart

HBO and PCI come together to depict the long struggle to diagnose, treat and prevent the spread of AIDS both in the US and abroad

SAN DIEGO CA (May 20, 2014) – PCI (Project Concern International) is proud to be a community partner with HBO for its upcoming film, The Normal Heart, which tells the story of the onset of the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s. The drama, directed by Emmy® winner Ryan Murphy and written by Academy Award® nominee Larry Kramer, is adapted from the Tony Award-winning play of the same name. The film will debut on HBO on May 25 at 9 p.m.

Starring Academy Award® nominee Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Emmy® winner Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina and Academy Award® winner Julia Roberts, the film takes an unflinching look at the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial.

Internationally, PCI has been on the frontlines of the AIDS pandemic since the 1990s, establishing early prevention, care and treatment programs in many African countries as well as in India and Indonesia. “The stigma associated with contracting the disease has been a common thread in the efforts to combat its spread,” says Uli Heine, Director of Development for PCI. “The lessons learned from the early days of the epidemic in the U.S. have laid that foundation for international aid programs to be established that have resulted in millions of lives saved.”

Ruffalo portrays Ned Weeks, who witnesses first-hand a mysterious disease that has begun to claim the lives of many in his gay community and starts to seek answers. Matt Bomer plays Felix Turner, a reporter who becomes Ned’s lover. Taylor Kitsch plays Bruce Niles, a closeted investment banker who becomes a prominent AIDS activist. Jim Parsons plays gay activist Tommy Boatwright, reprising his role from the 2011 Broadway revival. Roberts plays physician Dr. Emma Brookner, a survivor of childhood polio who treats several of the earliest victims of HIV/AIDS.

The crusade against HIV/AIDS has raged for more than 30 years, resulting in some big wins: treatments are keeping people with HIV living longer, yearly deaths worldwide have declined since 2005, and researchers continue to work to unlock the mysteries of this disease. “The war against HIV/AIDS is far from over,” continues Heine. “And it won’t be until a vaccine is discovered.”

With programs in Africa, Asia and the Americas, PCI focuses on assisting those most at risk through community-based interventions that offer services including home-based care and outreach; antiretroviral therapy and access to nutritional food; support groups and counseling; economic empowerment activities; and support for caregivers and orphans. By utilizing a network of dedicated volunteers and strengthening community-based organizations, PCI is ensuring vital care is reaching those who need it most.

For more information about HBO’s The Normal Heart, please visit www.NormalHeartMovie.com. For more information about PCI’s efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, please visit www.PCIGlobal.org.

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PCI (Project Concern International) is an international health, development and humanitarian assistance organization, operating in 15 countries worldwide. Funded by federal grants and private support, PCI is dedicated to saving lives and building healthy communities around the globe, benefiting over 5.8 million people annually in Asia, Africa and the Americas. PCI’s headquarters are located in San Diego, CA and the organization also has an office in Washington, DC and a Seattle, WA representative. PCI’s current annual budget is $49 million and the organization has nearly 600 employees worldwide.

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