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Saturday 08 April 2017

What If... HIV/AIDS Had Never Existed?

Posted in: Health & HIV
By Craig Young - 15th December 2016

Alternate histories are one of the most thriving genres of contemporary science fiction. One forthcoming US film asks the poignant question: What if HIV/AIDS had never existed?

Leo Herrera

Gay Mexican film maker Leo Herrera is in the process of producing a film which imagines what the world would be like if significant demographic segments of gay men had never encountered HIV/AIDS in an alternate history film, Fathers. Freddie Mercury, Sylvester, Liberace, Keith Haring, David Wojnarowicz, Rudolf Nureyev, Rock Hudson, Derek Jarman, Michel Foucault, Allan Bloom, and others are all still alive on this world and making contributions to everyday life, culture and political debate.

It asks questions about what HIV/AIDS did to LGBT community lives. Did it act as a retardant on the progress of LGBT rights in some jurisdictions? Did it legitimise and advance it in others? As we celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of homosexual law reform here in New Zealand, one of the arguments for decriminalisation at that time was that it was imperative to control the spread of HIV/AIDS.

In the United States and United Kingdom, things went the other way under the conservative regimes of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. The film will be made with the assistance of LGBT History Society members, survivors of the epidemic, and the friends, lovers and families of the men depicted therein.

What about New Zealand and our HIV/AIDS epidemic? It'd be great if we could contribute our memories of those we lost to the epidemic and imagine what a world where they still breathe, love and laugh along with us would have been like. To contact Leo Herrera, follow the link to the project website below.


Savas Abadsidis: "New film imagines Sex and Politics if AIDS never happened" HIV Plus: 09.12.2016:

If They Lived (Fathers project website):

Craig Young - 15th December 2016

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