Los Angeles Times Examines ‘Phenomenon’ of Men Who Want To Be HIV-Positive, Documentary Film ‘The Gift’
The Los Angeles Times on Sunday examined the "phenomenon" of "bug chasing" -- when HIV-negative men seek out HIV infection -- and "The Gift," a documentary film by Los Angeles-based filmmaker Louise Hogarth that derives its title from the term "gift givers," or HIV-positive men who purposefully try to transmit HIV to willing partners. Since the film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2003, "audiences have viewed 'The Gift' with a mixture of horror and fascination," according to the Times. Although the movie is being released "at a time when AIDS in the U.S. has receded from public attention," some critics say that the film's view is too limited and that it could create "a new wave of homophobia," similar to the discrimination gays faced in the early 1980s when AIDS first emerged, according to the Times. However, Hogarth said, "My documentary is about the large numbers of people who don't care if they get infected with HIV. ... The infection rate is exploding, just exploding." The film is scheduled to be shown on the Sundance Channel on Feb. 2 (Welkos, Los Angeles Times, 1/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.