Vice readies AIDS special “Countdown to Zero”

Vice Media is readying an investigative documentary into the medical breakthroughs and challenges that remain in ending the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, featuring interviews with former U.S. President George W. Bush and musician Bono.
October 30, 2015

Vice Media is to premiere an investigative documentary about the medical breakthroughs and challenges that remain in ending the global HIV/AIDS epidemic on World AIDS Day.

Hosted by Vice founders Shane Smith and Suroosh Alvi, Vice Special Report: Countdown to Zero promises to offer an in-depth look into the search for a cure and a preventative vaccine that could effectively eliminate AIDS worldwide. The pair will visit high-tech U.S. labs, South African clinics participating in the largest vaccine trials in history, and communities still affected by the disease.

The special will also feature interviews with the patients battling HIV/AIDS and the medical researchers manning the front lines against the disease, including Dr. Carl June of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

In addition, the film will deliver an exclusive interview with former President George W. Bush to discuss the successes of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEFPAR), while Alvi journeys to Rwanda with musician and humanitarian Bono, co-founder of (RED) and ONE, to witness the immediate effects of PEPFAR.

The special is the latest in Vice Special Reports in 2015, following Killing Cancer, which examines how various diseases are used to wipe out cancer cells, and Fixing the System, which explored the American criminal justice system with President Barack Obama.

Shane Smith, Eddy Moretti and BJ Levin serve as executive producers. Jonah Kaplan is co-executive producer with Tim Clancy serving as supervising producer. Matthew Horowitz and David Laven serve as producers.

Countdown to Zero premieres on December 1 (World AIDS Day) at 9 p.m. EST/PST on HBO. The special will also be available on HBO NOW and HBO GO.

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