Unlike New York City or San Francisco, Salt Lake City isn’t known for its progressive and accepting culture. When the AIDS crisis struck in the early 1980s, people living with the virus in Utah were often shunned by their family and church communities.
In fact, only one doctor in the entire state would even see patients who had HIV or AIDS. That doctor, Kristen Ries, MD, and physician assistant Maggie Snyder are the subject of the Logo documentary Quiet Heroes.
Ries and Snyder (partners in medicine and in life) offered care amid the socially conservative and religious Mormon community, an environment that complicated the couple’s ability to serve their patients.
As the film’s tagline puts it: “One doctor’s fight against stigma, shame and ignorance through the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis in the heartland of America’s West.”
Directed by Jenny Mackenzie, Jared Ruga and Amanda Stoddard, Quiet Heroes debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.
In conjunction with the documentary’s premier on Logo, the LGBT cable channel created a public service announcement starring modern-day heroes who speak out against stigma and who have faced challenges in their HIV journeys.
Logo also launched hero.MTV.com, where visitors can learn ways to volunteer, donate and advocate in the fight against HIV. The site also links to information about HIV testing, prevention and treatment.
You can learn more about the documentary at QuietHeroes.net.