HIV and AIDS in the Movies

by Tim Leach

Posted on Monday 25th of July 2011

For those who can remember back to the early 1980s and the start of the AIDS epidemic, there was something vaguely surreal about seeing the warnings on our television screens and the reports put out by the media. Was this all just hype, we were left wondering? Could this new disease really be that bad? Should we all be rushing off for a confidential HIV test? Since then, of course, the grim reality of the destructive forces of HIV and AIDS has hit home, with millions dying. Today, many more are living with the HIV virus thanks to vastly improved treatments. While for some, the media reports have undoubtedly hit the mark in terms of encouraging more responsible behavior to curtail the spread of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV); for others it has been the extremely poignant movies that have been produced which have caused them to think twice.


Of all the modern day movies to depict the suffering of AIDS victims, Philadelphia is probably one of the best known, although not the earliest. Made in 1993 and starring Tom Hanks as senior legal associate Andrew Beckett, the movie deals with the main character’s struggle to deal, not only with the homophobic prejudices of his associates, but also his battle with AIDS. Inspired by the true-life story of Geoffrey Bowers, an attorney who sued the law firm for which he worked in 1987 for unfair dismissal on the grounds of AIDS discrimination, some now see the movie as being somewhat outdated. It has to be said that, as with many of the excellent movies which have been made on the subject, its portrayal of the disease should do much to encourage those who have potentially put themselves at risk to seek a confidential HIV test at the earliest opportunity.

An Early Frost

Although Philadelphia might be one of the best-remembered movies about HIV and AIDS, the very first one to be made was a TV movie which was first broadcast on NBC in November 1985. Starring Aidan Quinn as successful Chicago attorney Michael Pierson, An Early Frost handled the dilemma of the main character’s family in coming to terms with his homosexuality and the fact that he had AIDS. Rather than as a result of a confidential HIV test, Pierson is diagnosed with the disease after being rushed to hospital with the early symptoms of AIDS.

A Mother’s Prayer

Although truly groundbreaking in their portrayal of AIDS, An Early Frost and Philadelphia of course both concentrate on the disease as it affects male homosexuals. A Mother’s Prayer, on the other hand, looks at AIDS from the perspective of a mother who is struggling to bring up her young son after the death of her husband. Having been diagnosed with the disease, she has to face the issue of what will happen to her son when she dies.

With time comes progress

Since the time when these early movies were made, much has happened in terms of diagnosing and treating HIV. Nowadays, many of those taking a confidential HIV test and receiving treatment can expect to be able to live a relatively normal life and to keep AIDS at bay for much longer than was previously possible. As with many illnesses, however, the key is in detecting HIV at the earliest possible stage, so if you think that you may have been at risk, arrange to have your confidential HIV test carried out as soon as possible.

Relared Aricles

Side Effects to Arthritis Medication - Is it Time For Natural Arthritis Pain Relief ?

by Stuart Rogers

Posted on Saturday 1st of October 2011

If you or a member of your family suffers from arthritis, you\'ll find in searching for an arthritis pain relief solution, that there are a number of prescribed drugs and medications you can take to h...

Read More

Homeopathic Treatments For Autism: An Effective Cure or a Speculative Remedy?

by Janice Duryea

Posted on Thursday 7th of May 2009

Although medicine has advanced vastly in the recent years, the use of homeopathic or natural treatments is still widely popular regardless of the ailment of the disease Think of disease and there is s...

Read More

Top Rated HGH - Which Product is It?

by Chris Carson

Posted on Tuesday 4th of August 2009

So many companies are advertising human growth hormones as anti-aging products, sex life energizer and enhancer, weight control, and more With so many human growth hormone products claiming to be a to...

Read More

Virus Versus Bacteria - A New Way to Stamp Out Hospital Superbugs

by Brent McNutt

Posted on Tuesday 27th of January 2009

How do you kill a superbug Certain types of bacteria, such as MRSA, creep around hospitals, and are resistant to drugs

Read More

Single Ingredient Milk Thistle Capsules - What You Don\'t Know Can Hurt You

by Valerie Rosenbaum

Posted on Thursday 2nd of April 2009

Before you buy a single-ingredient milk thistle capsule, it is worth your while to learn some facts about the supplements currently on the market While I am a strong believer in the need to increase y...

Read More

Taking a Different Path - Alternative Treatment For ADD/ADHD

by Jimmy Brownen

Posted on Monday 20th of October 2008

Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food –Hippocrates In the US, other than prescribed medications, there are no other federally-approved treatments for ADD/ADHD The U

Read More