'5B' documentary focuses on heroes of first AIDS-only hospital ward

In theatres now, is the film "5B" - a documentary about the first hospital ward in our country exclusively for AIDS patients.

5B is the name of the ward at San Francisco General Hospital that opened in 1983. It was the first facility in the country designed specifically to treat people with the fast-moving disease they knew very little about.

In the early '80s, Hank Plante was one of the first openly gay journalists covering San Francisco's AIDS epidemic.

"It was an amazing time. This disease came out of nowhere. No one knew how big it was going to get. We didn't know it was going to beco the pandemic that it became," he said.

This film celebrates the compassion and the bravery of the 12 nurses in 5B. Alison Moed was one of them

"Sometimes I think that it took more courage to enter into this land of a devastating epidemic and many young people dying that than actually possibly contracting the disease," she said.

"You had these nurses coming into work and just doing their jobs and instinctively taking care of patients. They didn't know how it was spread - was it airborne? Could you get it from touching people and surfaces? And it didn't stop the. It was an act of courage and an act of love," said Plante.

This team of healthcare providers maintain they were simply doing their job and answering their calling to cure and care.

"It was an act of love. we did, in a way, fall in love with our patients because they shared so much of their lives with us. They shared this journey that they were on, which was a journey to their death. We were privileged to accompany them and be there for them," said Moed.

There's heartbreak, they say, but history and while it's not a distant one, it's a time, a feeling and an experience that they hope this documentary will help preserve and perpetuate.

They also added that there's a lot of educating left to do.

"5B" is in theaters now.
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