To someone born in the mid 1980s and raised through the decidedly more HIV-conscious ’90s, the roots of the HIV/AIDS crisis in America may sound somewhat foreign. By the time someone born during the Reagan administration reached grade school, an afternoon of cartoons on Nickelodeon often contained a public service announcement advising 8-year-olds that hugging an HIV-positive uncle or sharing food with a friend could not spread the virus. Though this sort of messaging has been integral to reducing stigma, younger people who did not live through the onslaught of AIDS may not be aware of the crisis that HIV ushered in during the 1980s, the rash of deaths across the country, and the mobilization of an army of new activists and caregivers. Fortunately, three in-depth documentaries have been released this year to give the history of HIV an emotional, tangible context and remind us of both how far we’ve come and how far we still must go.
Click through for information about the films and trailers.