Monday, May 19, 2014


On Sunday, I watched Dallas Buyers Club, an excellent movie released in 2013, but a film that was quite difficult to view. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto were outstanding in their roles. Loosely based on the real life story of Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey), who was diagnosed with AIDS in the 1980s and given 30 days to live, the film won may awards, including an Academy Award for Jared Leto in his role as Rayon, a drug-addicted transsexual woman.

Ron is dissatisfied with his diagnosis and treatment in the hospital and, after reading and researching alternative treatments, he decides to treat himself and eventually others diagnosed with HIV and AIDS with advice and drugs from a doctor in Mexico, Dr Vass, who has lost his license to practice in the US. Ron's health and that of some of the others on the regimen improves, but, when the US Food and Drug Administration finds out about Ron's operation, they try to shut him down.

The Reagan administration is notorious for ignoring the growing epidemic and for its slowness in researching the causes and treatment of the disease and developing programs to educate the public. People who contracted the disease were sickening and dying in large numbers and were desperate and willing to try any treatment that might offer hope.  Reagan did not even mention HIV or AIDS until near the end of his second term.  What finally made me sit up and take serious notice was Randy Shilts' book, And the Band Played On.

Everyone involved in the production of the film treated the subject seriously and respectfully.  I highly recommend Dallas Buyers Club.

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