Documentary Film Analysis Essay: The Age of AIDS

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Essentially the documentary discusses one of the worst pandemics the world has ever known in the age of aids. More than two decades of stunning scientific breakthroughs, political denial as well as social stigma, inadequate prevention campaigns and stringent policy battles, HIV/AIDS is undoubtedly continuing to spread at unprecedented pace throughout the world especially in developing countries. Today, more than thirty million people across the world have succumbed as a result of HIV/AIDS. This paper seeks to analyze the documentary based on different aspects.

Question 1 Most powerful scenes of the documentary

The entire documentary is full of deep insights. However, certain sections stood out as more powerful than others. The first powerful scene is within the first nights two-hour broadcast where it starts with the scientific and the medical mystery that broke in 1981 when five men that were gay in Los Angeles were diagnosed with a strange illness. This scene describes the frantic search that was embraced by European and American epidemiologists and scientists in a bid to find out the source of this deadly infection. They tracked its spread among intravenous drug users, gay men, hemophiliacs as well as the general population. This scene was powerful since it helped in bringing insights on how the infection began. The trail also showed the preexisting stigma, fears and political controversies that emerged especially during the Reagan administration. This scene also showed how the attempts on preventing the spread of the ailment among different groups such as the gay men, sparked a furious debate. Moreover, the scene also tracks HIV's devastating sprouting across the world and how some nations like Africa, Europe, and Asia found tools to slow its growth such as the massive condom distribution campaigns and needle-exchange programs.

The second most powerful scene in the documentary is on the second night where the film starts by looking into the chasm which erupted between the poor and the rich as a result of the development of the triple cocktail HIV treatment which brought a perception that aids were not that fatal disease. However, the price was very high and unaffordable to patients in upcoming nations. The scene indicated the political struggles that emerged in a bid to lower the prices. This scene was powerful since it indicated the political struggles that fostered standardized prices for developing nations.

Question 2

The issue that intrigued me the most in the documentary was about funding for HIV medications. This issue has been extensively addressed in the film specifically where it looked at the programs that have been embraced by some nations to mitigate this disease. Some of the programs included the massive condom distribution campaigns and needle-exchange programs. I feel that this was a good move by those nations since they were advocating for a healthier nation and preventing the possible spread of the disease. Furthermore, this fostered for equity since it bridged the gap between the poor and the rich. It gave the poor an opportunity to protect them from the disease. Through funding, people from developing nations and individuals who cannot support their medical expenses can meet their health needs since they have an opportunity of getting subsidized medication from donors. I have gained useful insights from the film regarding this topic. In particular, i have learned that HIV/aids are preventable by embracing the recommended practices like the use of condoms during sexual intercourse.

Question 3 An article on HIV medication funding

Summary of the articles

Wilson, n. (2015). Can disease-specific funding harm health? In the shadow of HIV/Aids service expansion. Demography, 52(5), 1671-1700.

The article cans disease-specific funding harm health? In the shadow of HIV/AIDS service expansion by Wilson examines the effects or rather the impacts of introducing a new HIV/Aids service, which is the prevention of mother-to-baby transmission of HIV/AIDS (PMTCT). The new service focuses on quality of postnatal and prenatal care. The findings of the study indicated that historical PMTCT introduction in Zambia might have fostered all-cause mortality in the short term. The introduction of PMTCT resulted in reduced vaccinations depicting that the new service might have gotten rid of existing pediatric health services.

Comulada, w. S., Desmond, k. A., Gildner, j. L., & Leibowitz, a. A. (2017). Transitioning from Medicaid disability coverage to long-term Medicare coverage: the case of people living with HIV/AIDS in California. Aids education and prevention, 29(1), 49-61.

Cumulate, et al., (2017) in their article, indicates that Medicaid can serve as a connecting aspect to Medicare coverage in the long run with efficient work experience. The researchers did a multinomial logistic regression on the 2007, and 2010 Medicaid and Medicare claims data to determine changes to Medicare for individuals living with HIV and AIDS in California that had the Medicaid coverage in the year 2007.

Question 4


It is no doubt that a healthy nation is a productive nation thus the increased interest in research on health issues. Several researchers have discussed issues on HIV/AIDS particularly concerning HIV/AIDS funding for medications. With the increased cases of HIV infections, many organizations both public and private have come up to offer all kinds of aid including financial aid to help in the management as well as medications to individuals diagnosed with this disease. These two articles are among the many research studies that have examined HIV funding for medication. The arguments fathomed both in the film as well as in the research are congruent in the sense that they indicate that there has been a considerate attempt to organizations to offer financial aid to help in the medication of HIV cases. Wilson (2015), looks into whether funding is critical, he found out that it plays an integral role. He focused on transmissions that can occur through mother-to-child and found out that this sector should be accorded much precedence. He found out that the financial funding given to the Zambians helped in improving the health condition of the Zambians especially in the prevention of HIV through mother-to-baby. Similarly, Comulada et al., (2017), in their article argued that there is a great need for the Medicaid program to be extended to HIV/AIDS patients. All these are also supported in the film, as it mentions funding programs for HIV medications such as the massive condom distribution. Provision of condoms helps people who get intimate to protect themselves from getting infected by the virus. Needle-exchange programs also help in HIV and Aids prevention and medication.

Based on findings from the two articles and the film it can be concluded that funding plays an important role in the medication of HIV/AIDS cases. First of all, funding helps those individuals who cannot afford quality care to get quality healthcare. Furthermore, the disparity between the poor and the rich is reduced. As in the film, there was a section that showed the disparities that arose as a result of the expensive medications for HIV, it resulted to a lot of speculations that did not come out well with the majority of the citizens, and therefore, funding fosters equality.

The question that these article and film arouses is whether the funds being granted for HIV/AIDS medication is being actually management by the relevant authorities. If not well managed then the normal citizens in the developing nations will not get the anticipated good healthcare. My opinion is that there should be stringent measures and persons to take accountability for funds granted. I highly support funding for HIV and AIDS medication as it helps nations and individual to manage the disease.

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