Documentary ‘5B’ to be shown tonight at Sierra College Nevada County Campus |

Documentary ‘5B’ to be shown tonight at Sierra College Nevada County Campus

In 1983, the disease known as AIDS was a death sentence. Before long, the nation would be in the grip of AIDS hysteria.

The documentary “5B” focuses on the creation of the nation’s first AIDS ward at San Francisco General Hospital in the 1980s, at the height of the AIDS epidemic.

The film will be shown at the Sierra College Nevada County Campus’s Multipurpose Center (N-12) at 6 p.m. today. The event is free and open to the public.

At a time when hospitals were turning away persons suffering from AIDS because they didn’t want to be known as “the AIDS hospital,” a cadre of nurses at San Francisco General fought to open the first AIDS ward in the country, Ward 5B. Although health experts were convinced that AIDS was not transmitted casually, before Ward 5B, people with AIDS faced a frightened medical staff who insisted on wearing gowns, gloves and masks before entering their rooms. Some doctors and nurses openly refused to treat them. They were isolated, terrified and dying.

The Ward 5B nurses defied these medical conventions, and decided that even though they couldn’t cure their patients, they could touch them and treat them with human compassion.

5B is told through their first-person testimony, and the testimony of those with AIDS whose lives they touched through their innovative approach to patient care, which ultimately became the standard of care throughout the world in the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients.

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