amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

How to Survive a Plague: New Documentary on AIDS

Using powerful and deeply moving interviews as well as never-before-seen footage, How to Survive a Plague is a riveting new documentary that offers extraordinary insights into the history of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S. The documentary, in theaters September 21 and subsequently available On Demand from Sundance Selects, tells the story of the courageous young activists behind ACT-UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) and the Treatment Action Group (TAG). 


Among the film’s protagonists is Peter Staley, a former amfAR trustee and recipient of amfAR’s Award of Courage in 2000.  A successful Wall Street bond trader, Staley was diagnosed with “AIDS-related complex” at the age of 24 and given less than two years to live.  In 1987 he joined ACT-UP, and later went on to be one of the co-founders of TAG alongside Mark Harrington and others. 

Directed by David France, a journalist who has been covering the epidemic since 1982, How to Survive a Plague has been hailed as “…an epic celebration of heroism and tenacity,” by The Hollywood Reporter, and as “…the first documentary [that I have seen] that does justice to this story of a civil rights movement rising from the ashes of our dead,” by Andrew Sullivan of The Daily Beast.

For more information and to view the trailer click here.