AIDS in Film

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

The Dallas Buyers Club movie depicts the plight of AIDS patients during the initial stages of the disease discovery (Brenner, Winter, & Vallée, 2013). During this time, little knowledge existed regarding the illness, and patients passed through terrible times as doctors spiritedly engaged efforts to find a solution to the menace. The Dallas Buyers Club film revolves around the lives of the main characters seen to be infected with the virus. Their life stories offer a myriad of lessons regarding the transmission and dreadful nature of the AIDS virus.

Discuss What You Learned about AIDS and Its Victims that You Didn’t Already Know?

The film has enlightened me on various things that I did not know about the virus despite the publicity it had been given over the years. One such factor is that a single act of unprotected sex could lead to contraction of the AIDS virus. In the film, Ron Woodroof contracted the virus after just a single attempt of the unprotected sex. Contrary to my misconception, I have always assumed that the virus can only be contracted after several attempts since its transfer occurs through the blood transfer. Another thing that has become more apparent is the pain and frustration that the victims go through upon contracting the virus. Knowing that you have only 30 days to live can be so devastating. Ron Woodroof found himself in such a scenario; filled with the will to live, he engaged every possible means to stay alive (Brenner, Winter, & Vallée, 2013).

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Did You Find You Had Any Misconceptions that Were Cleared Up by the Film?

The film netted a few misconceptions that have always limited my understanding of the AIDS virus and its spread. One of the misconceptions is that a single act of unprotected sex could lead to the contraction of the virus. This is a common belief among my friends and me; the film has clearly illustrated that any act of unprotected sex possesses high risks of the AIDS contraction. Another misconception cleared by the movie is that the victims can live healthy lives. The misconception is not true. The film depicts the people living with AIDS to be going through tough times, depression, confusion, frustrations, and hopelessness (Ngum, Fon, Ngu, Verla, & Luma, 2017). This implies that despite the various available interventions, living with AIDS presents a whole challenge and transformation in one’s life.

Do You Feel You Have a Better Understanding of and Empathy for the Suffering of People Living with AIDS?

People living with AIDS go through frustrations, pain, agony, and the state of helplessness. I feel much empathy for the characters and lives they lead knowing that you only have a few days to live. The pain of leaving behind your children, family, or wife makes the entire process more painful and antagonizing. The victims, therefore, seem to be going through bitter moments that under normal circumstance would make the life to be highly uncomfortable (Durham, & Lashley, 2010).

What Suggestions Do You Have for Getting the Message across to Teenagers and College Students to Engage in Safe Sex?

Teens and students need to have a better understanding of the AIDS virus, its spread and risks attached. Youths and teens best understand through illustrations; the use of films of this nature can help in passing information about the proliferation of the diseases and associated risk factors. Apart from the movie, seminars and workshop training should be organized to educate the youths on the dangers of the unprotected sex. Also, the school curriculum at all levels should offer teachings on the importance of engaging in the safe sex to stay healthy (Ford, 2017). The age of the social media has brought about intolerable lust among the youths and teens leading to increased irresponsible sexual behavior. The social media should also initiate a campaign to create awareness of the dangers of the unprotected sex and how teens can avoid it.



Brenner, R., Winter, R. (Producers), & Vallée, J.-M. (Director). (2013). Dallas buyers club [Motion picture]. United States: Focus Features.

Durham, J.D., & Lashley, F.R. (Eds.) (2010). The person with HIV/AIDS: Nursing perspectives (4th ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

Ford, A. (2017). The Dallas Buyers Club: Who’s Buying It? Transgender Studies Quarterly, 4(1), 135-140.

Ngum, P.A., Fon, P.N., Ngu, R.C., Verla, V.S., & Luma, H.N. (2017). Depression among HIV/AIDS patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy in the Southwest Regional hospitals of Cameroon: A cross-sectional study. Neurology and Therapy, pp. 1-12. doi:10.1007/s40120-017-0065-9.