The 10 Best Documentaries About Aids In The 80s

Jul 22, 2023 | Best Of, Health, Medicine

The 1980s were a tumultuous decade for the world, and nowhere was this more true than in the fight against AIDS. The virus had taken hold across the globe, and those living with HIV/AIDS faced stigma and discrimination at every turn. It seemed like an insurmountable battle – but fortunately, documentaries about AIDS in the 80s have allowed us to look back on that time and remember how far we’ve come since then. These films document not only what life looked like during those years of fear and prejudice, but also tell stories of hope as activists fought hard to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. They give us a glimpse into both sides of history: from devastating losses to inspiring victories; heartbreaking stories to uplifting tales; moments of despair alongside times of joyous celebration. From powerful portraits of everyday people struggling with their diagnosis to shocking exposés on government negligence, these are some of the best documentaries about AIDS in the 80s – all essential viewing for anyone interested in this dark chapter in history.


1. The Origins of AIDS documentary

The Origins of AIDS documentary is an in-depth exploration into the history and development of HIV/AIDS. Examining the theories that have been proposed over the years, this film looks at how and why this virus has had such a devastating impact on humanity. Through interviews with experts, scientists, and those living with HIV/AIDS, we gain insight into the origins of this disease and its far-reaching consequences. This documentary is essential viewing for anyone interested in learning more about one of mankind’s greatest challenges.


2. Living the Last Days: Chris Brownlie L.A. Hospice – PBS (1989)

Living the Last Days: Chris Brownlie L.A. Hospice – PBS (1989) is a powerful documentary that follows the journey of hospice patient, Chris Brownlie, as he navigates through his final days in Los Angeles. This film dives into the difficult situation of facing death and how it affects not only those with terminal illnesses but their families too. Through interviews with doctors, nurses and family members we gain insight into what it’s like to live life knowing your time is limited and how important it is to make every day count. Watch this inspiring story of courage and resilience that will touch your heart!


3. The Age of Aids full documentary

This documentary is a powerful look into the age of AIDS. It will take you through the history and evolution of this devastating disease, from its discovery in 1981 to its current state as an epidemic that affects millions around the world. This video explores some of the most pressing issues surrounding AIDS such as stigma, prevention, treatment, and research. Watch and gain insight into how society has responded to this global challenge.


4. Top 65 Celebs Died & Suffered From HIV/AIDS

This video will take an in-depth look at the lives of those who made a lasting impact on our society, even after their untimely deaths due to HIV/AIDS. We’ll examine how these influential actors and musicians used their platforms to raise awareness about the disease while also making an indelible mark on popular culture. Get ready for a heartfelt tribute as we remember and commemorate these individuals whose legacies still live on today.


5. The Face Of AIDS

This video brings you the story of David Kirby, whose deathbed scene captured by Therese Frare in 1990 gave AIDS a human face. This powerful image was later used by United Colors of Benetton to provoke public opinion and blur the lines between commerce and social awareness. Hear this inspiring story now!


6. Community Stories: Seattle in the Age of AIDS

This documentary takes us to Seattle in the Age of AIDS and reveals how this period shaped the city. It explores how people came together to fight for their rights, share stories, and help those affected by the disease. From community activists to healthcare workers, we hear from a variety of voices as they reflect on what it was like living through that time. This powerful film brings these stories back into focus and will leave you with an understanding of why this era remains so important today.



This video takes a deep look at the AIDS epidemic, its history and how it has impacted people throughout the world. We explore the different types of treatments available to those affected by this disease, as well as potential new breakthroughs in research. Join us on this journey into understanding one of the most devastating epidemics of our time.


8. The Gift – HIV Documentary

This moving documentary follows the lives of three HIV positive people and their families, as they share their stories of courage and resilience in the face of adversity. Watch as we explore how these individuals have found strength through a supportive community, while also understanding the unique challenges they face. This video is an inspiring testament to what it means to live with HIV today.


9. AIDS: Four Corners of the Crisis – PBS (10/29/1986)

AIDS has become a global crisis, and this documentary takes an in-depth look at the four corners of the situation. From medical research to understanding how HIV is transmitted, this video covers it all. You’ll also hear from individuals affected by AIDS and learn about prevention strategies that can help make a difference. Watch now to gain insight into this important issue!


10. Critical Condition – AIDS Lifeline – 1988

This powerful documentary looks at the AIDS crisis of 1988 and how it affected those living with HIV/AIDS. It features interviews from people who were living with the virus, as well as medical professionals and activists. Viewers will gain insight into what life was like for those affected by this disease, including the struggles they faced to get access to healthcare and support services. This film is a reminder of how much progress has been made since then in fighting this devastating illness.



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David B