How To Survive A Plague producer David France has said a lot of good has come from AIDS activism.

France's documentary looks at the rise and success of HIV/AIDS advocacy groups ACT UP (AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power) and TAG (Treatment Action Group). The film first premiered at Sundance 2012 and opens Friday in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, with a national release to follow.

The powerful film pieces together archival footage to tell the story of two coalitions – ACT UP and TAG – “whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition.”

In a GLAAD blog post, France argued that good things have come out of the AIDS pandemic.

“A number of years ago, while I was working on a piece for New York magazine about the dark chapter of AIDS in America before the advent of effective therapies in 1996, one of the people I interviewed told me, 'A lot of good came out of the AIDS epidemic.' At first this struck me as wildly inappropriate. I had painful memories of all the bad things from back then, all the death and anger and political disregard. All the loss. But of course he was right. AIDS and AIDS activism revolutionized every aspect of health care and gave us the patient-centered system we have today. Through AIDS, gay people gained a pivotal role in civic life for the first time ever. AIDS rewrote the playbook at the NIH and the FDA, and gave voice to pharmaceutical scientists who saw their purpose as a moral one, not just an economic one. Somehow this brilliance and triumph – almost thrilling, when you look at it with the benefit of hindsight – had been forgotten.”

“I hope a new generation rediscovers the story of AIDS activism so that they know the legacy these individuals left behind, and the lessons they learned about the limitless capacity of the human spirit. It's absolutely true: A lot of good came out of the AIDS epidemic,” he added.