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.”
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
“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.