Cassandra Steptoe, a 52 year old African American woman who was diagnosed with HIV back in 1987, now gets her inspiration from the theatre. For almost 15 years, she lived in shame and denial of her disease until 2001 when she met Dr. Edward Machtinger, director of the Women’s Positive Health Program at UCSF. Not only did he begin to treat Cassandra, but recently, he joined forces with actress and director, Rhodessa Jones, of the Medea Project, to form a theater group comprised of his HIV positive patients. Cassandra now performs with the ensemble attempting to educate others about the specific issues confronting women living with HIV.

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