The 11 Best Documentaries About HIV / AIDS

Sep 20, 2023 | Best Of, Health, Sexuality

HIV has long been a major social issue, with an often heartbreaking and unforgettable impact on the lives of those most affected. But it doesn’t have to be a grim topic – there are many documentaries that provide powerful insight into the epidemic and its lasting consequences. From stories of resilience during adversity to inspiring tales of activism in action, these films can provide invaluable perspectives on the past, present, and future of HIV/AIDS. Here are some of the best documentaries about HIV that you should definitely watch.


1. The marriage market for Indian HIV patients

In India, an inspiring doctor has helped many HIV/AIDS patients find partners in the marriage market. With more than two million Indians being HIV positive, concealing their illness is of utmost importance due to the societal stigma attached to it. The doctor serves as a ray of hope for these individuals and gives them much-needed support in order to find life partners. Through her efforts, she is working to create a more inclusive society where everyone is accepted and loved for who they are. Despite the risk of being rejected, these HIV/AIDS patients now stand a chance at finding true love with her help.


2. Understanding HIV: Science, Stigma and Sex

AIDS: The Unheard Tapes dives into the stories of real people and their experiences with HIV. From its impact on relationships to the stigma that still persists, this three-part documentary presents a comprehensive picture of what it is to live with HIV today. Join host Ben Hunte as he leads a special panel discussion exploring how our perceptions of HIV have changed over time, from the 80s to now, and how we can all work together to move forward in creating a world free from HIV stigma. Hear powerful stories of resilience and courage as people open up about their experiences in a safe and supportive environment. It’s an eye-opening documentary you don’t want to miss!


3. Living with HIV (Medical Documentary)

This moving documentary tells the story of two individuals living with HIV and their journey through life. Chhaya Hematkar and Shakshi Sawant share with amazing courage their hopes, dreams and struggles as they navigate a world that sometimes doesn’t understand the challenges faced by those suffering from this virus. The film follows these brave souls as they try to find acceptance and understanding, while also raising awareness for a cause often forgotten. It is an emotionally charged journey that will touch the heart of all who watch it.


4. HIV/AIDS: Plague of the 21st Century

HIV/AIDS: The Scourge of the 21st CenturyThe onset of HIV in the 1980s was a harrowing event for many. The virus, which was previously known as “gay cancer,” spread quickly throughout North America and beyond – leaving devastation in its wake. This period also gave birth to some of the most enduring myths around the disease, such as that of Patient Zero. However, the damage done by this virus goes far beyond what any myth could suggest.


5. How HIV Positive Teens Handle The Disease – Positive Youth – HIV

Positive Youth is a powerful documentary that shines a light on the experience of four HIV-positive teens living in four cities. Through their stories, viewers are given an intimate glimpse into how they’re handling the disease and its implications for their lives. From anxiety to triumphs, Positive Youth offers viewers a unique chance to gain insight into what it’s like to live with HIV as a young person. This documentary follows the teens as they navigate their challenges, strive for success, and defy the odds while staying hopeful about their future.


6. A Future Without HIV: Investigating South Africa (HIV Pandemic Documentary)

This harrowing journey to South Africa brings us closer to understanding the true impact of HIV and AIDS on a global scale. Exploring our social networking technologies and solutions for an HIV-free future, this documentary provides invaluable insight into the lives of those affected by the pandemic. We visit communities in South Africa that are living with the reality of HIV every day, enabling us to gain a deeper understanding of the complex issues that accompany this devastating disease. This documentary is an essential resource for anyone wishing to take action and make a positive change in the struggle against HIV.


7. Dating Service for People with HIV | Love in a Time of HIV

In this bustling city, love and romance are the mainstay of day-to-day life. But for those living with HIV there is still a dream to find what so many others take for granted. In India, where symbols of fertility, beauty and love can be found everywhere, it’s easy to forget that the country also houses one of the highest number of people living with HIV in the world. To bridge this gap, a new dating service has sprung up – one specifically geared towards those who are infected or affected by the virus.


8. Talkback: HIV/AIDS, Philippines’ silent epidemic

Talkback: The Philippines’ Alarming HIV/AIDS EpidemicThe HIV/AIDS situation in the Philippines is a matter of grave concern. It has been dubbed as a ‘silent epidemic’, with an estimated 101,619 Filipinos having already contracted the virus by 2018. To raise awareness of this issue and to provide information on its possible solutions, documentaries have been produced to capture the complexity of this problem. The documentary titled Talkback: HIV/AIDS, Philippines’ silent epidemic is a thought-provoking exploration of the issue.


9. How to Start a Family When You Have HIV | HIV Documentary

When they were 25 years old, two men from St. Petersburg, Russia made the daring decision to start families with their HIV-positive wives. Both of them knew that it was a risk to themselves and their future children, but they stayed strong and held on to hope. This documentary tells the story of these brave individuals who remained undaunted in spite of a life filled with addiction and infection. It explores the bond that existed between them, as they supported each other through their struggles and ultimately found love in spite of HIV.


10. HIV Stopping the Spread | Love in a Time of HIV (Medical Documentary)

“Love in a Time of HIV (Medical Documentary)” tells the touching story of a couple who bravely faces the risks of transmitting HIV and finds hope in fertility treatments. Through sperm washing, they are determined to have children without passing on the virus to either partner. It is an enlightening look into the journey of two people as they strive for happiness and joy in spite of their diagnosis. Viewers will be inspired by the couple’s determination and dedication to each other in the face of adversity.


11. Journeys of Hope and Change – Love In A Time Of HIV

Journeys of Hope and Change – Love in a Time of HIVA captivating account of the struggles and triumphs of two brave individuals living with HIV, Chhaya Hematkar and Shakshi Sawant. Through candid conversations, they courageously open up about their journey thus far – from coming to terms with their illness to how they remain positive and hopeful in the face of adversity. Uncovering their fears, apprehensions and yearnings for a brighter future, this remarkable documentary provides an inspiring insight into HIV and the power of love to bring about positive change. An ode to courage, resilience and hope, it’s a must-watch for anyone wanting to understand more about life with HIV.

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David B