Judge Hatchett Takes on Mission to Educate Young People About HIV / AIDS by Presenting Eye-Opening Teen Intervention in South Africa on World AIDS Day, Thursday, December 1, 2005

Teen Ordered to Travel to Epicenter of HIV / AIDS Pandemic in Ingwavuma, South Africa to Experience Ravages of Disease on People of Rural Village


In an effort to raise awareness about the alarmingly rapid increase of HIV infections in the African American community, particularly among young African American women, Sony Pictures Television's syndicated courtroom series, Judge Hatchett, offers a hard-hitting, candid episode during which a dangerously promiscuous teenage girl is taken for the intervention of a lifetime at HIV / AIDS ground zero in South Africa. This episode, airing on World AIDS Day, Thursday, December 1, 2005 (log onto www.judgehatchett.com for local stations and times), aims to get viewers talking about this preventable deadly virus and why so many young people are needlessly contracting it.

According to the Center for Disease Control and the Black AIDS Institute, young people under the age of 25 account for half of all new HIV infections each year, with African Americans accounting for over half of those new infections.

"Current statistics detailing HIV infection in the African American community are staggering, and regrettably, not as widely known as they should be," commented Judge Glenda Hatchett. "We must equip our children with the educational tools and information they need to combat HIV and AIDS. In this case, we're providing a rare inside look at what is happening in South Africa and what could happen here without proper education about prevention."

When 14-year-old Kaniesha Robinson is brought before Judge Hatchett's bench by her grandmother and legal guardian, Ann Robinson Wright, the Judge is shocked and saddened by the news of Kaniesha's excessive sexual behavior and casual attitude toward sexually transmitted diseases. In an effort to drive home the dangers of Kaniesha's behavior and enlighten viewers about the ramifications of promiscuous sexual conduct, Judge Hatchett sends Kaniesha for the most awe-inspiring experience of her life -- sentencing her to spend several days living in the rural village of Ingwavuma, South Africa to personally experience the devastation HIV/AIDS can wreak on an entire community.

Out of all the countries in the world, South Africa has the third largest number of people living with AIDS. Ingwavuma, home to the Zulu people since the 1700s, including such famous historic figures as Shaka Zulu and the Zulu warriors, is a small town in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Unfortunately, this province is now known as the worst HIV / AIDS effected area in South Africa. An astonishing four out of 10 mothers in KwaZulu-Natal are HIV positive.

During her stay in Ingwavuma, Kaniesha is exposed to a community that now hosts approximately 3,000 orphaned children who lost their parents to AIDS. She also meets a group of peers who are learning and practicing abstinence including one young HIV-positive mother who learned the hard way that her actions have irreversible, dire consequences.

"On World AIDS Day, it is important to remember that HIV is still spreading and threatening the lives of young people in this country, and we still don't have a cure," noted Executive Producer Michael Rourke. "With this episode, we wanted to raise awareness about HIV in our country as well as remind our viewers of the ongoing health crisis in Africa."

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SOURCE: Sony Pictures Television

CONTACT: Bryan Byrd of Sony Pictures Television, +1-310-244-3792,

Web site: http://www.judgehatchett.com/

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