AIDS in Film: Every Picture Tells a Story

Written by | HIV, Wellness

For our entertainment issue, we took a look back through our MetroHIV film coverage on the lookout for great films we haven’t previously discussed — and where you can seek them out today.

Photo courtesy HBO Home Video

Photo courtesy HBO Home Video

Living with AIDS (1987)

A riveting short documentary about the final days of Todd Coleman, 22, and those who cared for him: a true and heartbreaking look at what living with AIDS looked like in the 1980s. Available ON: Vimeo

Longtime Companion (1989)

A group of friends in the early 1980s deal with the chaos as a “new illness” attacks gay men in their youth, and nobody is sure who will find a purple lesion or develop pneumonia next. Its ending beach scene is haunting. Available ON: Netflix DVD

The Living End (1992)

Critic Jon and hustler Luke, both living with HIV, go on a gritty, sexy road trip for one last adventure. Available ON: Netflix DVD, Amazon Video, iTunes

It’s My Party (1996)

Nick is a gay man who has tested positive for HIV, developed a devastating opportunistic infection, and has only a few days left of consciousness left. He (and a star-studded cast) have one last party to celebrate his life. Available ON: DVD

Gia (1998)

A biopic about the life of supermodel Gia Carangi, who rose to fame in the late 1970s before spiraling downward. Perfectly played by a young Angelina Jolie, Gia is a gripping tale of fame, drugs, and the desire to be loved. Available ON: Amazon Prime Streaming, iTunes, HBOGO

Precious (2009)

Clareece “Precious” Jones is a teenager already pregnant with her second child, who escapes reality through a richly-imagined inner life. Dealing with physical and emotional abuse in a raw and realistic way, the film won Mo’Nique an Oscar and made Gabourey Sidibe an instant sensation. Available ON: Netflix DVD, Amazon Video, iTunes

We Were Here (2011)

A documentary that chronicles the early days of the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco, showcasing the rise of activism and the bond of community. Available ON: Netflix Streaming, Amazon Video, iTunes

The Test (2013)

In 1985 — at the height of the AIDS epidemic when no effective treatments were available, innocent young dancer Frankie ponders whether or not to take a test that could well reveal more than he’s ready to know. Available ON: DVD, Amazon Video

Last modified: April 23, 2018