“Behind the Fear, the hidden story of HIV,” the feature-length documentary film directed by Nicole Zwiren is intended to include all and any voices regarding the etiology of AIDS and the meaning of HIV to different people. The people involved in the documentary are HIV victims and their loved ones, scientists, doctors, journalists, and AIDS activists providing their own input on AIDS and their own personal stories and opinions involving HIV and/or AIDS. Because HIV is said to act vastly different in each individual and in each territory of the world, factors for progression, or lack thereof, from well-being to ill health are said to vary greatly due to genetics, different strains of the virus, environmental, toxicological and dietary reasons. When you add psychological factors into the equation, the etiology and treatment of AIDS becomes extremely complex. There has been a common thread amongst those surviving beyond 10 years with an HIV diagnosis, and that is their strong intention and decision to live. Was this a big enough factor in helping them stay alive, though? Nowadays, there are so many new drugs with less toxicity enabling people with HIV diagnoses to have a better chance of survival.

However, several people were able to survive because they never took the HIV medicines that could have killed them in the early days of AIDS. For some, the medications have been the miracle drugs that give them hope for survival, while for others, their rejection of conventional medications seems to be their motivation to stay alive. “Behind the Fear, the hidden story of HIV,” portrays mainstream points of view on AIDS that are conventionally recognized, and also includes those whose opinions are often suppressed or taken for granted. Some people have turned to natural cures to rid their body of the virus, while other scientists and doctors claim that infection due to the virus is a lifelong illness. “Behind the Fear, the hidden story of HIV,” explores science in conjunction with psychology factors in the history of AIDS and the contention of survival despite an AIDS diagnosis. It vies for the middle voice that will bring new unbiased research to the forefront so that the unanswered questions about HIV and AIDS can be explored.

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