At R-FH: 'How to Survive a Plague'
An award-winning movie and discussion on AIDS
It's an opportunity to learn more about a modern-day plague turned manageable health condition that potentially affects all in many different ways — AIDS.
The award-winning documentary How to Survive a Plague will be presented free to the public in the auditorium of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 15.
Well-known community activist and ACT UP member Ron Goldberg, who appears in the film, will provide an introduction as well as host a question-and-answer session.
How to Survive a Plague tells the powerful story of two coalitions — ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) — whose activism helped to turn the disease of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) from a death sentence into a manageable condition.
Despite their lack of scientific training, these early activists helped identify promising new treatments for HIV/AIDS and hastened their movement from experimental trials to actual patient use in record time.
Directed by David France, this two-hour documentary takes viewers through the dark early days of the AIDS epidemic and demonstrates the power that activism can have on society, social change and policy.
In addition to Goldberg, pioneering activists and researchers featured in the film include Larry Kramer, playwright and founder of the Gay Men's Health Crisis; David Barr, a founding member of TAG; Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; and Garance Franke-Ruta, a senior editor at The Atlantic who helped found a coalition called "Countdown 18 Months" to help speed up the process of developing and delivering treatment drugs.
After its limited release in September 2012, the film garnered critical acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival and received awards for Best Documentary of 2012 from the Gotham Independent Film Awards and from the Boston Society of Film Critics.
How to Survive a Plague was also nominated for an Academy Award, and the American Broadcasting Company recently announced that it has optioned the rights to create a mini-series based on the film.
The Gay-Straight Alliance of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, a student organization, and the R-FH auditorium are the evening's hosts.
"Make It Better for Youth," the Monmouth County Consortium for LGBT Youth, is also a co-producer of the event and will accept voluntary donations for its upcoming programs.