How to Survive a Plague

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Running time:
109 minutes

In the dark days of 1987, the country was six years into the AIDS epidemic, a crisis that was still largely being ignored both by government officials and health organizations -until the sudden emergence of the activist group ACT UP in Greenwich Village, largely made up of HIV-positive participants who refused to die without a fight. Emboldened by the power of rebellion, they took on the challenges that public officials had ignored, raising awareness of the disease through a series of dramatic protests. More remarkably, they became recognized experts in virology, biology, and pharmaceutical chemistry. Their efforts would see them seize the reins of federal policy from the FDA and NIH, force the AIDS conversation into the 1992 presidential election, and guide the way to the discovery of effective AIDS drugs that stopped an HIV diagnosis from being an automatic death sentence - and allowed them to live long lives.

Release date:
September 21, 2012
Quick review:
Director David France’s documentary chronicles the history of the gay grassroots protest movement ACT UP since its inception at the onset of the AIDS crisis in the mid 1980s through the 1990s, when its relentless advocacy on behalf of AIDS research led to the development of new drugs to manage the disease.