In Our Hands (2017)
Directed by Millie Harvey, 28 mins
In Our Hands is a documentary made by, and about, one of the first communities in sub-Saharan Africa to receive HIV self-testing; a new way for people to test for HIV in private without the need to go to a facility.
Visiting a clinic for an HIV test is easy to put off. It may mean taking time off work, there is the chance of being recognised, and you must face the possibility of finding out you have HIV. Now imagine that in addition, your nearest health centre is a three hour walk away, the clinic queues are long, and the waiting area is exposed for passers-by to see.
In Our Hands is a documentary made by a group of people from Neno, a region in south Malawi, one of the first places in sub-Saharan Africa to receive HIV self-testing. Join villagers as they take video cameras into their community; adolescents and young people, parents, men and women draw attention to some of the key social, economic, and psychological barriers that prevent people from going for an HIV test, and ask what are the pros and cons of testing in the privacy of your own home.
Meet Frank, a loving father who has felt the tragic consequences of testing late - what drives him to speak out and tell his story? Find out why young Sombe has been waiting to test for HIV for so long - does the ability to test himself, and in private, mean he will finally go through with it? And hear the inspiring stories of people who have not let a positive HIV status affect their health, happiness or ability to contribute fully to their community.
To meet the global goal of eliminating AIDS by 2030 the United Nations says we need to have tested 90% of those living with HIV in the next three years. However today, of the 36.7 million people living with HIV, almost a third do not know their status. In Our Hands asks what difference does the ability to test yourself in private and at home mean to people in rural, remote settings and could this new method help close the testing gap and keep the world on target to eliminate AIDS by 2030?