Ragtag to host film in recognition of World AIDS Day
COLUMBIA - Local organizations are partnering to raise awareness about AIDs.
Ragtag Cinema, Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services and the Center Project are organizing a free screening of "How to Survive a Plague."
The screening will take place Monday at 6 p.m. at Ragtag Cinema. It is being held in observance of World AIDs Day, which was on Sunday.
The theme of the 2019 observance is "Ending the HIV/AIDs Epidemic: Community by Community." Boone County is embracing this theme by hosting an event that is geared toward educating and engaging as many people as possible.
Tracey Bathe, an educator at the health department, said the goal of the screening is clear.
"The purpose of showing the film itself is absolutely to eradicate stigma," Bathe said. "And to show that a community of people can make a huge difference."
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion. The panel will feature Bathe, along with Dima Dandachi, a physician at the MU Department of Infectious Diseases, and Marc Johnson, an HIV researcher at the Bond Life Sciences Center.
Bathe said, in 2018, Missouri had more than 12,000 people diagnosed with HIV. Around 300 of those individuals were from Boone County.
She expects this number to rise.
"Once we get all of the information in, we could see an increase in the number of new diagnosis," Bathe said. "That is why it is really important. We have already seen an increase in the other STDs."
Bathe added, she expects a packed house at around 140 people in attendance Monday.
Tickets can be picked up at Ragtag's box office starting at noon.